Photographers, amateur and professional alike, from around the globe braved the cold weather of December to capture stunning images of 2021’s final full moon.
December’s Cold Moon rose on Friday night. It is both the longest full moon of the year and the last before the winter solstice on Tuesday, December 21.
While the Cold Moon—named for December’s cold temperatures which also gives rise to the alternative titles of “Frost Moon” or the “Winter Moon”—was at its peak on Saturday, NASA said that skywatchers had three days to catch the moon in full glory.
The space agency said the moon would appear full from Friday evening to Monday morning, declaring the period a “full moon weekend.” And photographers definitely took advantage of this extended period to capture the full moon.
The image below shot on Sunday shows the Cold Moon partially shrouded by clouds, from Moscow.
In a scene that wouldn’t look out of place in an epic Hollywood blockbuster, this New York photographer captured December’s full moon as it rose behind the observation deck of Edge NYC, the highest observation deck in the western hemisphere.
The image was captured by Hudson Bay, New York, on Friday, December 17.
A clearer image of the Cold Moon looking suitably frost-white was captured from Siliguri, a city in the northeast Indian state of West Bengal that sits at the foot of the Himalaya mountain range.
Twitter user Jamal Nasir, who goes by the name The Moon Guy, caught a different aspect of December’s Full Moon. Capturing the Cold Moon from Pakistan on December 19, showing it framed behind foliage, the moon takes an almost warm orange hue in the photographer’s images.
Nasir told Newsweek: “Capturing full moons has always been relaxing and peaceful. This picture holds a special place in my collection because I always wanted to capture the full moon behind palm tree branches.”
According to NASA, a full moon occurs when the moon is on the opposite side of the sun as viewed from Earth. This means it is a period in which we come the closest to seeing the moon’s sun-facing “dayside” fully illuminated by our star.
The phase of the moon that comes before the full moon is the brightening Waxing Gibbous moon. After a few days of the full moon, it will move into the Waning Gibbous, traveling back towards the sun with the light side appearing to shrink as it moves out of our perspective.
The next full moon will rise on Monday evening January 17, 2022, at around 6:48 p.m. ET. The January full moon, also known as the Wolf Moon, will appear in the sky for three nights from Sunday to Wednesday.
The Cold Moon was also captured by Alice Roberts, professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. The biologist, author, and broadcaster pictured the full moon on December 18 as a pinpoint of light framed by bare tree branches and shrouded in clouds.
In Italy, Twitter user Mary Shovlain caught an incredible image of the final full moon of 2021 framed against the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.
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