Full Cold Moon near Messier 35
The moon reaches its full moon phase on December 12, 2019, at 12:12 am EST (05:12 UTC). Our natural satellite will shine between the horns of Taurus and visit an open cluster of stars called M35. Here are some observing tips.
The December full moon is traditionally known as Full Cold Moon due to the fact that in December winter begins for most of the Northern Hemisphere and the cold weather fastens its grip. This full moon is also known as Full Oak Moon, Long Nights Moon, and the Moon Before Yule.
The full moon in December always shines in or near the stars of the constellation of Taurus. Since it’s opposite the sun on this day of the lunar month, the fully illuminated moon rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. The Full Cold Moon of December is distinctive for its high trajectory across the sky and for being above the horizon for a longer period of time.
On Thursday evening, the full moon will also pass within two finger widths to the lower right (or 2 degrees to the celestial south) of the rich, open star cluster named Messier 35. Messier 35, also known as M35 and NGC 2168, is an open cluster of stars in the northern constellation of Gemini. To see that cluster’s stars despite the bright moonlight, position the moon just outside your binoculars’ or telescope’s field of view.
Check the Star Walk 2 app to find out rise and set times for celestial objects and easily locate them in the sky above you.