The next full moon you’re going to see will be extra special.
That’s because it’ll also be a lot closer than normal. And that means that it’ll not only be a moon, but a super-moon. And if you’re particularly lucky, you’ll get to see it block out extra things as it rises. The moon will rise on December 3. It becomes full at about 4:00pm that day, though of course it will be big and full all night.
It won’t actually reach perigee – or the point at which it’s closest to Earth – until the next morning. But again it will be very close for the entire evening, so you’ll get a look at it whenever you look up to the sky. The moon is usually about 238,000 miles away from Earth. But its orbit isn’t a perfect circle, so it sometimes gets much closer, and when it swings around in December it will be a mere 222,135 miles away.
That won’t be the closest it’s got all year – in May it passed by us about 221,958 miles from Earth. But that didn’t coincide with a full moon, making December’s sight by far the brightest, fullest moon that we’ll have been able to see all year.
The moon is referred to as a “Full Cold Moon”. Unlike some of the names found in the Old Farmer’s Almanac – such as the Full Worm Moon – the reason for the name of December’s moon is obvious and straightforward