December’s Full Cold Moon will be the brightest and highest of the year and the disk will be fully illuminated Tuesday, December 13, 2016. It reaches its full phase at 7:05 p.m. (ET).
Additionally, tonight (the 13th) brings the peak of the Geminid Meteor Showers, usually the best shooting stars of the year!
In American Indian cultures which tracked the calendar by the Moons, December’s full moon was known as the Full Cold Moon because it is when winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark. December’s moon was also called the Long Nights Moon by some tribes because it occurs closest to the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. This year, the winter solstice occurs Wednesday, December 21 at 5:44 a.m.(ET).
This evening, the full moon rises at 4:08 in Bangor, Maine; at 5:18 in Lafayette, Louisiana; and at 4:53 in Salem, Oregon.