This is the very first time in the 21st century to watch the full moon on Christmas Day. The last time the moon was full on Christmas was back in 1977, and astronomers say the next time will occur in 2034.
Step outside to view the full moon until it sets on Christmas morning. And even if you sleep through that, you still very full-looking moon will rise in in the evening.
According to NASA, not since 1977 has a full moon dawned in the skies on Christmas. But this year, a bright full moon will be an added gift for the holidays.
December’s full moon, the last of the year, is called the Full Cold Moon because it occurs during the beginning of winter. The moon’s peak this year will occur at 6:11 a.m. EST.
As you gaze up at the Christmas moon, take note that NASA has a spacecraft currently orbiting Earth’s moon. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission has been investigating the lunar surface since 2009.
“As we look at the moon on such an occasion, it's worth remembering that the moon is more than just a celestial neighbor,” said John Keller, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The geologic history of the moon and Earth are intimately tied together such that the Earth would be a dramatically different planet without the moon.”
LRO has collected a treasure trove of data with its seven powerful instruments, making an invaluable contribution to our knowledge about the moon.
LRO is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
For more information on LRO, visit: