In addition to one of the most productive meteor showers of the year, Vancouveriti will also be under a brilliant ‘full cold moon’ this December.
Vancouveriti will be introduced to the brilliant ‘full cold moon’ in late December.
At the solstice (December 21), a rare celestial event made the unique holiday season even more unusual, as what was called the “Christmas Star” appeared over Canada, brighter than it had been for nearly eight centuries.
It’s not really a star at all – it’s the convergence of Jupiter and Saturn – but because of their close proximity, they appeared to the naked eye as one, the only bright star.
Now the last celestial spectacle in 2021 – a bright full moon before the end of December – is traditionally known as the “cold moon”. However, as with every full moon of the year, it bears several names.
The moon under any other name … would shine brightly
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, some Indian groups call it the “month of long nights” because it occurs near the winter solstice – the day with the least daylight.
The name ‘cold moon’ has become associated with the full moon of December due to the moon’s cold winter weather.
The full moon should rise in the evening on Tuesday, December 29, and the most complete will be at 7:30 p.m. in Vancouver.
Astronomers should choose to travel as far away from city lights as possible to avoid light pollution that will obscure the clarity of celestial bodies. While this works best in more remote locations, anywhere with higher altitudes will also provide more ideal viewing conditions.
Earlier this month, one of the most productive meteor showers of the year took place in Vancouver, offering a night of bright shooting stars.
Nearly 200 years old, the Geminid Meteor shower offers Earthlings a brighter view each year (depending on the moonlight, of course). Space.com notes that this is due to the fact that Jupiter’s titanic gravitational pull approached the flow of particles from the “shower source, the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, and approached Earth over the centuries”.