Cold moon to rise over CT on Dec. 7: What to know

The sky is preparing for the full moon of the cold on Dec. 17, 2021. 

The sky is preparing for the full moon of the cold on Dec. 17, 2021. 

NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

As the year wraps up, the celestial plain offers the Earth another lunar event in the form of the cold moon on Wednesday, Dec. 7. A yearly occurrence, the cold moon is the last full moon of the year (and a notable one too.)

If you have a high-powered telescope or a good set of binoculars, you will be able to see the moon as it passes over Mars and the nearby stars.

From optimal times to view the moon to what actually happens in space, here is what you need to know about the upcoming cold moon:

What is the cold moon?

The cold moon is December's only full moon, and the last full moon of the year. The cold moon will be visible longer than most moons as well as more luminous than others. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the name comes from The Mohawks to convey the "frigid conditions of this time of year." Other names for the cold moon include the long night moon, bitter moon and Christmas moon.

According to NASA, the full moon will cover Mars on the evening of Dec. 7, disappearing behind it between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. On the east coast, skygazers will be able to see moon graze past Mars. This is called a lunar occultation. This sort of lunar occultation occurs quite often, but due to the fact that they can only be seen from small portions of Earth at a single time, it is uncommon for an area to see multiple occultations a year. 

When will the cold moon be visible?

Though the moon will be visible all night, it will be at peak brightness at 11:08 p.m. above Connecticut. 

What is the best way to view the eclipse?

Visual aids are necessary to see the movement of the moon pass Mars and different stars. According to NASA, stargazers looking through binoculars or telescopes will be able to see stars "blink right out" as the moon passes by them.

When is the next full moon?

The next full moon, which is known as the wolf moon, will be visible on Jan. 6 at 6:08 p.m., according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac