CASPER, Wyo — The waxing gibbous moon will appear full 3 nights in a row starting Saturday night, according to NASA. As the last full moon before the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, an array of meanings and monikers have been ascribed to it.
83% of the moon will be in earth’s shadow at 2:44 a.m MT Monday morning. Though this partial eclipse likely won’t be discernible to the naked eye, NASA said the solar-powered Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will experience a marked reduction in power.
Because there were two full moons in October, NASA said the names by season and names by month will be offset until the summer of 2021.
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“Going by month, [Nov. 30’s] full moon would be the Beaver Moon and the subsequent full moon on Dec. 29 would be the Cold Moon,” NASA said. These Algonquin names, tied to the seasons rather than to a particular month, were first published in the 1930’s in the Maine Farmer’s Almanac.
Sunday’s event is also known as the Child Moon, so named because it will be the earliest sunset of the year with a full moon in the sky. Other names include the seasonably appropriate Frost Moon and Winter Moon.
The Europeans called this full moon, the last before the winter solstice, the Oak Moon, believed to hearken back to ancient druid traditions of harvesting mistletoe from oak trees first recorded by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder in the 1st century CE, NASA said. Europeans also called it the “Moon before Yule.”
Hindus celebrate this full moon’s alignment with the Pleiades constellation with Karthika Deepam, a festival of lights.