Something Special Will Happen to the Moon on Christmas Day

It'll be full during the holiday for the first time since 1977
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2015 8:48 AM CST
Updated Dec 11, 2015 9:01 AM CST

(Newser) – The last time there was a full moon on Christmas, Jimmy Carter was president and a gallon of gas cost 65 cents. But this year we get to party like it's 1977 when the moon is shown in its full glory on Dec. 25, the Weather Channel reports. It's an event that won't happen again until 2034, and then every 19 years after that for a few cycles, the Independent explains. But it really has been a full 38 years since the last Christmas Day full moon, though the Independent notes we were psyched out in both 2004 and 2007, when the moon appeared full on Christmas, but was actually full on Dec. 26 and Christmas Eve, respectively.

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In other full-moon trivia, this full moon even has its own set of nicknames: the Full Cold Moon, the tribal name of Full Long Nights Moon, and the Moon Before Yule (Space.com has a complete list of what every full moon of the year is called). To catch a glimpse of the moon in peak mode this time around, you'll have to get up early—it's set for maximum fullness at 6:11am EST, a NASA moon expert tells the Weather Channel—but people with young kids will probably be woken up that early anyway to open gifts. As a bit of a cheat, the Weather Channel recommends people simply view the moon at night on Christmas Eve, when it'll essentially appear to be full. (Don't worry, you likely won't end up in the ER on Christmas Day because of this.)

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