The year winds up with the Full Cold Moon today, the last of the 13 Full Moons this year. As The Old Farmer's Almanac explained, this full moon is commonly known as the Cold Moon, a Mohawk name that pertains to the cold temperatures at this time of year.
The moon will be in the sky for more than 15 hours from Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning, making it the longest full moon of the year. Notably, the next full moon will be witnessed now in 2021 only. The Almanac says that people can begin to spot the December full moon just before sunset.
How does the Cold Moon get its name?
The Mohican name, the "Long Night Moon", refers to the long nights surrounding the winter solstice and Decembers full moon shining above the horizon for a longer than other full moons.
"By season, as the first full Moon of winter, the Algonquin tribes of what is now the northern and eastern United States named this the Wolf Moon, from the packs of wolves that howled hungrily outside the villages amid the cold and deep snows of winter", he said.
This full moon was a celebration of winter solstice that marks the start of winter.
This month's full moon also will be rather special because of its high trajectory, which means it will be above the horizon for a longer time compared to other full moons.
For Hindus, this full Moon is Datta Jayanti, commemorating the birth day of the Hindu god Dattatreya (Datta).
The 12 months of the Gregorian calendar, used almost universally around the world, are based on the 12 lunar cycles that typically take place each year.
The moon will officially peak at 3.28am GMT on December 30 (early hours of tomorrow). The Chang'e 4 lander and its companion Yutu-2 rover launched December 7, 2018 and landed January 3, 2019.
At the time of moonrise, the reflected sunlight is seen by the observer on Earth. "Purists insist, however, that the full moon of December 30, 2020, counts as the last full moon of the decade, and that 2020 - not 2019 - ends the second decade of the 21st century (2001 to 2100)".