Full Moon on December 21st, 2018. How and From Where can you See it?

Full Moon on December 21st, 2018. How and From Where can you See it?

Credit: Bustle

The full moon of December will coincide with the Winter Solstice and will make a close pass by the Aldebaran.

The full moon of December is generally called the Full Cold Moon. According to NASA, the moon will arrive on 22nd of December and will be visible in the constellation Taurus. It will become full on 17:49 GMT and will rise 15 minutes after the sunset. The fact that the full moon will coincide with the winter solstice adds to its significance as this event will next occur in 2094. Skywatchers can observe the nearly-full moon making a close pass by the brightest star in Taurus (Aldebaran), one night before the full moon becomes full. The state where Aldebaran and the full moon are in the same celestial longitude is known as a ‘Conjunction’.

Traditionally, it is easily visible to all the people living in North America and Europe due to early sunsets and late sunrise in the Northern Hemisphere. All the residents of the United States will be able to enjoy these scenes including the ones in Hawaii. On the other hand, things might not be so straightforward, this time around, for those living in Europe. Most of the continent will be deprived of this view as the conjunction will happen after the moon sets on the morning of 21st December. However, people living in some places like Iceland will have the opportunity to see the conjunction due to the late setting of the moon.

In addition to the Full Cold Moon, the annual Ursid Meteor Shower will also brighten up the December sky. The name of this meteor shower comes from the constellation Ursa Major, a place from where it possibly emerged. The radiant of the shower is expected to be somewhere around 30o above the Northern Horizon at local midnight. Having said that, it will not be possible to see much of these showers due to the brightness of the full moon (Full moons are so bright that they make it pretty hard to observe fainter objects in the night sky).

December sky is not short of amazing sights as some planets will also be visible in the night sky including the ones passing close to each other. Mars will be visible after the sunset on the night of the Full Cold Moon. According to experts, it will be in the constellation Pisces and could be seen from both the eastern and western parts of the United States. The red planet will rise at 11:39 am and will stay visible until 11:17 pm in New York. Similarly, Saturn will also be visible on the night of full moon given you get a flat horizon and clear weather.

Venus will be visible only in predawn skies as it could be seen from 3:29 am to 6:17 am at an altitude of 26o. It will be so bright that it could even be observed in light-polluted regions. Uranus could be also be viewed in the eastern sky at an angle of 28o from the horizon. However, it is hard to catch without any optical aid (telescope or binoculars) for most of the people. In addition to all these planets, a planetary conjunction will also be visible a day before the full moon.

Jupiter and Mercury will pass within 2 lunar diameters of each other. They will be difficult to be observed from New York as they will be pretty close to the horizon (10o). Having said that, this conjunction will be much easily visible near the equator. For instance, people of Puerto Rico could see these planets at an angle of 14o above the horizon. All these events will make sure that all the skywatchers around the globe stay busy in the ending moments of 2018.

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