December’s full Moon, the last of the year, is called the Full Cold Moon because it occurs during the beginning of winter. The instant that this month’s full lunar phase will occur is 11:11am GMT and it will rise at 4:32pm GMT as seen from the centre of the British Isles.
As you gaze up at the Christmas Moon, take note that NASA has a spacecraft currently orbiting Earth’s only natural satellite. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission has been investigating the Moon’s surface since 2009.“As we look at the Moon on such an occasion, it’s worth remembering that the Moon is more than just a celestial neighbour,” 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.”
LRO has collected a treasure trove of data with its seven powerful instruments, making an invaluable contribution to our knowledge about the Moon.