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Full Cold Moon Update – 6 December, 2014, 4:27 AM PST

December 5, 2014

Here’s another update from SMBAS Blog on that large, disc-like, shining object which has frequently and mysteriously appeared in our nighttime sky this year (known to many as the moon).

Full Cold Moon(

Full Cold Moon
(Revolutionary Raw Vegan Culinary Creators at

Dec. 6, 4:27 a.m. PST — Full Cold Moon.  December is usually considered the month that the winter cold begins to fasten its grip.   It is also called the Full Long Night Moon since nights are at their longest and darkest.   The term “Long Night Moon” is a doubly appropriate name because the mid-winter night is indeed long and the moon hangs above the horizon for a long time.  The mid-winter full moon takes a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite to the low sun. This moon was also occasionally called the Moon before Yule.  This particular full moon makes its highest arc across the sky because it’s diametrically opposite to the low sun. [Video: Full Moon: Why Does It Happen? How Does It Affect Us?]

Here’s a reminder of Bob Gurfield’s comments from last June:
The latest (and earliest) sunrises do not occur on the solstices.  Earliest sunset in Los Angeles for 2013-14 was 4:43 pm on 4 Dec, 2013.   It then gets later every day until 7 July, 2014 at 8:08 pm PST.  The latest sunrise of 6:59 am occurred on 14 Jan, 2014.   It then gets earlier until 17 June, 2014 at 5:41 am PDT. See table below.

As we go further north the latest sunrise and sunset as well as the earliest sunrise and sunset, still don’t occur on the solstices.   Check the table above for Anchorage, AK. The reason for this is that the earth’s axis is not aligned with the minor axis of the earth’s orbit around the sun.   Over time the earth’s ecliptic precesses a tiny bit each year so that every ~134,000 years the orbit makes a complete rotation with respect to the positions of the stars  [This is not the same as the ‘precession of the equinoxes.’]

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a page for each full moon. One tip: set your eggs on the 5th, 6th or 14th. Now you know, so you have no excuse.

The next significant full moon – if all goes well – will occur in January, 2015.   However, we will be taking a break from full moon announcements for 2015. Replacement suggestions welcome.

This information comes to you courtesy of:
written by Joe Rao.   Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmer’s Almanac and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for News 12 Westchester, N.Y.

But that’s waaay too long to type in, and besides, you don’t need to go there because SMBAS has done the work for you!
[Chuck Almdale]

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