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Cold Moon 2020: Everything You Need to Know About Last and Highest Full Moon This Year

File photo of cold moon.

File photo of cold moon.

The Cold Moon in December will be accompanied by Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, spotted high in the southern skies after sunset.

Astronomical event enthusiasts and sky-watchers need to brace yourself for something exciting.The year 2020 winds up with the Full Cold Moon on Tuesday, the last of the 13 full moons this year.

The last celestial event of the year will be the highest full moon. People can observe the Cold Moon in December on two different days. The Cold Moon in December will be accompanied by Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, spotted high in the southern skies after sunset.

2020’s final lunar event comes after a series of events, including the Geminids meteor shower. After 19 years, we also saw the rare Halloween Blue Moon this year. The month of December 2020 had another surprise when we witnessed the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn.

The Old Farmer's Almanac says the timing of the peak illumination of the moon on December 30 is behind the globe spotting. It is expected at 7:54 pm IST on December 29 and at 8:57 pm IST on Wednesday. 

How does the Cold Moon get its name?

According to the Almanac, the Cold Moon is known as so because it is during this time that the nights become long and dark and the winter cold fastens its grip. History has it that every Full Moon has its name associated with a season or any other event. The Full Cold Moon, even, has different names given to it in different parts of the world. 

The Mohicans refer to it as the Long Night Moon because the moon rises during the longest nights near the winter solstice. The ancient pagans called it the Moon Before Yule, as they have the Yuletide celebrations around the same time of the year. In comparison to most full moons, the December Cold Moon shines for a longer time period over the horizon.

What makes Cold Moon 2020 special?

The Cold Moon will be visible above the horizon for a long time because of its distinctive high trajectory across the sky. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the name Cold Moon has its origins in some traditions practiced by the native Americans. The name links to the “frigid conditions of this time of year”. According to a report by Forbes, the full moon will appear in Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa on December 30. South America and North America will have it on December 29. Post the event, the moon will be visible as a full-blown moon for the following three days.