The Sky Tonight Update: Full Snow Moon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 08:19 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Snow Moon because the heaviest snows usually fell during this time of the year. Since hunting is difficult, this moon has also been known by some tribes as the Hunger Moon, since the harsh weather made hunting difficult.

The Sky Tonight Update: Full Moon

The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 03:30 UTC (9:30pm Central time). This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Cold Moon because this is the time of year when the cold winter air settles in and the nights become long and dark.

This moon has also been known as the Full Long Nights Moon and the Moon Before Yule, which is the ancient celebration around the winter solstice.

A winter solstice Christmas Star will soon be on the horizon.

You might’ve noticed two bright points of light setting along the western horizon just before the sun sets.  Over the past couple of months, they seem to have been getting closer and closer together.  These are not stars, but planets: Jupiter and Saturn. 

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The Sky Tonight Update: Geminids Meteor Shower

The Geminids is the king of the meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the best shower in the heavens, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. The shower runs annually from December 7-17.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

An eclipse of the moon can only happen at full moon, when the sun, Earth and moon line up in space, with Earth in the middle. At such times, Earth’s shadow falls on the moon, creating a lunar eclipse.  Lunar eclipses happen a minimum of two times to a maximum of five times a year. There are three kinds of lunar eclipses: total, partial and penumbral.

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