When to spot ‘Cold Moon’ in India tonight— longest, last full moon of 2023 - Hindustan Times

When to spot ‘Cold Moon’ in India tonight— longest, last full moon of 2023

Dec 26, 2023 05:21 PM IST

During December, as winter arrives in Northern Hemisphere, the full moon is referred to as the Cold Moon.

As we bid farewell to 2023 and embrace 2024, the special celestial gift – the Cold Moon, the longest and final full moon of the year, will grace the sky. Here's a brief guide for moon lovers on how to witness this celestial event.

Representative Image. (Robert F. Bukaty / AP)
Representative Image. (Robert F. Bukaty / AP)

According to Time and Date, the Christmas moon that appeared on Monday will shine bright until December 27, reaching its fullest at 6:03am.

What is science behind longest full moon?

The winter solstice marks the year's shortest period of sunlight. According to Time and Date, in New Delhi, the sun will rise at 7:09am and set at 5:29pm, resulting in a daylight duration of just 10 hours, 19 minutes, and 17 seconds.

During the winter solstice, the Cold Moon becomes the longest full moon, earning the name Long Night Moon, said NASA, Live Science reported.

The full moon occurs when the sun, earth, and moon align on an imaginary 180-degree line. The moon's orbit, slightly off earth’s orbit, causes it to be higher or lower than earth’s shadow during this alignment, allowing sunlight to illuminate the side facing earth.

Also read: Why Dec 22 has shortest day, longest shadow? Winter solstice explained

Why it’s called Cold Moon?

December marks the onset of winter in larger parts of the Northern Hemisphere. Named the Cold Moon for the season's long, cold nights, it's also known as the Frost Moon and the Winter Moon, according to NASA.

Old European names for December's moon include the Oak Moon and the Moon before Yule, associated with the three-day winter solstice festival predating Christmas, introduced by King Haakon I of Norway in the 10th century.

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