For the first time in nearly 40 years, there will be a full moon on Christmas.
It will a welcome surprise for holidaymakers in places like the Northeast, who are enduring a balmy holiday without any chance of snow.
The last time something like this happened was 1977 and it won’t happen again until 2034, according to NASA. Not since 1977 has a full moon dawned in the skies on Christmas. December’s full moon, the last of the year, is called the Full Cold Moon because it occurs during the beginning of winter. The moon’s peak this year will occur at 6:11 a.m. EST tomorrow.
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“As we look at the moon on such an occasion, it's worth remembering that the moon is more than just a celestial neighbor,” said John Keller, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The geologic history of the moon and Earth are intimately tied together such that the Earth would be a dramatically different planet without the moon.”
If you are simply too busy or too full to step outside and gaze up at the night sky, the Slooh Community Observatory has you covered. Slooh will provide live feeds of the Christmas Full Moon from its flagship observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands starting from 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thursday and run until midnight. You can also go to Slooh.com to watch this broadcast live and take photos during the show.
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Then, in recognition that some believe the Star of Bethlehem was actually a comet, which guided the Wise Men in their journey to visit the baby Jesus, as the clock strikes Midnight in New York, Slooh will feature the Christmas Comet as it emerges from its recent close passage around the Sun.