The Cold Moon, the last full moon of 2020, will peak at 10:28 p.m. EST on Dec. 29.
Rising before sunset and hanging high in the sky, this is one of the most viewer-friendly full moons of the year.
The Cold Moon is the last cosmic event of a very busy December, which has already brought a meteor shower, a solar eclipse, and the Great Conjunction.
As the strangest, hardest year in recent memory comes to a close, we’re anxious to hit the reset button. But there’s one final event to look forward to this month: The full Cold Moon, the last full moon of the year, lights up the sky this week.
The December 2020 Cold Moon will reach peak illumination at 10:28 EST on December 29, according to NASA, and all time zones should have a clear view of the event. It’ll have a high trajectory in the sky, making for optimal viewing on clear, crisp nights. And better yet, it’ll appear nearly full both the day before and the day after its peak.
The Cold Moon comes from the Mohawk, who chose the name to signify the time of year when the weather becomes frigid, per The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Other names include the Frost Moon, the Winter Moon, and the Long Night Moon.
Catching a glimpse of the full Cold Moon is easy—simply find a spot with a clear view of the sky and as little artificial light as possible. Since the moon will rise before sunset, you can even start searching the horizon before dusk. Use The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s moonrise calculator to check exact viewing times in your area.
It’s not just you: This month has been an especially lucky one for stargazers. December has already brought the best meteor shower of the year, a total solar eclipse, and an unusually close “Great Conjunction” between Jupiter and Saturn. Who knows? This final full moon could be a sign of good things to come in 2021.