December 'Cold Moon': Here's when you can see the last full moon of 2023

The last full moon of 2023 will shine bright in the sky this week, much to the delight of skywatchers around the world. 

December's full moon, also known as the "Cold Moon" and "Long Night Moon," will reach peak illumination on Tuesday, according to NASA and the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

However, it will appear full for multiple days – lasting through Thursday morning, NASA says.

Here’s everything to know about December’s full moon.

When to see December’s full moon

The Cold Moon will reach its peak illumination at 7:33 p.m. EST, according to NASA. To our eyes, however, the moon started appearing fully illuminated on Christmas Eve and will continue to appear bright the morning of Dec. 28.  

To find specific moonrise times in your area, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has specific times for different ZIP codes across the U.S. 

What is a ‘Cold Moon?’


FILE - A night view of Mount Erek as cold full moon appears in the sky in Van, Turkiye on Dec. 7, 2022. (Photo by Ozkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The full moon takes a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite to the low sun. According to NASA, the moon will be above the horizon longer than at other times of the year.

The Cold Moon gets its name because December is the month when it really starts to get cold.

"The long night moon gets its name because the full moon in December occurs near the solstice, which has the longest night of the year," NASA said.

Europeans call the December full moon the "moon before yule," named after Yule, an old northern European winter festival that is now associated with Christmas. 

Next month's full moon is called the "Wolf Moon," which will peak on Jan. 25, 2024.

This story was reported from Cincinnati.