HomeSpace NewsDecember full moon 2022: The Cold Moon occults Mars

December full moon 2022: The Cold Moon occults Mars

December’s full moon, called the Cold Moon, falls on Dec. 7th for people in the Eastern Time Zone and points west. Our satellite will be accompanied by three easily visible planets as it rises, and be situated among the Northern Hemisphere’s brightest winter constellations, in Taurus. Observers in parts of North America and Europe can also see the moon pass in front of Mars, a phenomenon called an occultation. 

The moon becomes officially full at 11:08 p.m. Eastern Time in New York City (0408 GMT on Dec. 8), according to the U.S. Naval Observatory (opens in new tab). For New York City observers, the moon will rise that evening at about 4:58 p.m., and set at 6:41 a.m. the morning of Dec. 8. The timing of lunar phases depends on the moon’s position relative to the Earth and the sun; a full moon is when the moon is 180 degrees away from the sun (using the Earth as the center of the circle). The hour of the full phase depends only on one’s time zone – the full moon is at 10:08 p.m. in Chicago or Mexico City, and 8:08 p.m. on the West Coast. Meanwhile the full moon happens at 12:08 a.m. on Dec. 8 if one is located in much of Brazil or Venezuela, while in Paris, it occurs at 5:08 a.m. For observers in New Zealand (just on the other side of the International Date Line from the U.S.) the moon becomes full at 4:08 p.m. on Dec. 8. 

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