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.
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!