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For the final time in 2020, a Full Moon shone brightly in the night’s sky having risen in the early hours of December 30. This was the 13th Full Moon of 2020, with 12 the average in a calendar year.
Two Full Moons rose in October, with the rare celestial phenomenon of a Blue Moon rising on October 31.
Most months see at least one Full Moon, but sometimes there are two – with the second in a calendar month called the Blue Moon.
This occurs as the Moon takes 29.5 days to complete an orbit, so sometimes more than one can fit into a month if the timing is right.
Now the 13th Full Moon of the year has risen – the next time we will see 13 in a year is 2023.
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Will the Cold Moon rise again tonight?
Although the peak of the Full Moon – when it is at its absolute maximum – has passed, with that taking place at 03.38 this morning, the Moon will still appear in its maximum.
According to NASA, the Cold Moon will still look as if it is full for several days.
The space agency said this Moon “will appear full for about three days around this time, from Monday evening through Thursday morning.”
The space agency added: “As the full Moon closest to the winter solstice, this is the Long Night Moon.
“The plane of the Moon’s orbit around the Earth nearly matches the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
“When the path of the Sun appears lowest in the sky for the year, the path of the full Moon opposite the Sun appears highest in the sky.”
According to Time & Date, the Full Moon will rise tonight at 16.10 and will be visible in the sky until it sets at 09.24 tomorrow morning.
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Clear skies in parts of the UK will make the Moon visible, although it will still be easy to spot in the event of clouds.
The Met Office weather report for tonight said: “Rain and sleet clearing away from southeast England.
“Showers or longer spells of rain and sleet across north and northwest and turning to snow over hills. Dry and cold elsewhere.”
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