Full Long Nights Moon won’t sleep a wink tonight

Yesterday’s nearly full moon adds a jolly glow to this snowy holiday scene nicely captured by Judy Gray of Duluth. To find out when tonight’s full moon rises for your location, just click the photo and enter the city. Credit: Judy Gray

With the longest night of the year almost here, the Full Long Nights Moon shows it bright face in the east around sunset this evening. Also known as the Full Cold Moon, western hemisphere observers will get see two¬†nights of fullmoonness. That’s because the moment of full phase happens around 3 in the morning (CST) tomorrow.

Tonight the moon will be waxing and a hair shy of full; Tuesday night it will be waning and maybe two hairs shy of full. Will you be able to see its out-of-roundness with the naked eye either night? The Long Nights moon moniker is doubly appropriate. Not only are the nights long in December, but the moon will be up for hours and hours. It follows the same trajectory as the summer sun, rising early and setting late.

Tonight’s moon sits near the intersection of Orion, Taurus and Gemini. Two nights from now it will be near Jupiter. The map shows the sky around 8 o’clock local time Dec. 16. Stellarium

Whenever I take moon walks in the winter months, the short shadows and intense radiance always bring me back to summer if only in an orbital mechanics sort of way!

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About astrobob

My name is Bob King and I work at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. as a photographer and photo editor. I'm also an amateur astronomer and have been keen on the sky since age 11. My modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where I'm a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. I also teach community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium.

2 thoughts on “Full Long Nights Moon won’t sleep a wink tonight

  1. It will ride high tonight. I am curious about Comet Panstarrs X1. Perihelion does not come until April of 2016. Just based on the perihelion distance, I would guess the comet to brighten up to possibly magnitude 7 or 8. I tried to find coordinates for it then but so far have been unsuccessful.

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