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December's full moon - or Cold Moon - will peak on Thursday morning, December 8 and will be the last full moon of 2022





The last full moon of 2022 - known as a Cold Moon - will appear above the country just as temperatures plummet below freezing.

The aptly-named December full moon is set to peak on Thursday morning as the county braces itself for an ice spell that has prompted a level three amber warning for severe cold weather.

The last full Moon of 2022 is taking place this week. Image: Stock photo.
The last full Moon of 2022 is taking place this week. Image: Stock photo.

A full moon appears around every 29.5 days in the UK - with each event given its own distinctive name as a way of keeping track of the seasons.

And it seems December's full moon could not have come at a more appropriate time as England enters what is likely to be one of the coldest spells of 2022 bringing frost, wintry showers and lows of -10C in some isolated areas.

A cold weather alert is in place from Wednesday at 6pm until Monday morning
A cold weather alert is in place from Wednesday at 6pm until Monday morning

A full Moon occurs when the Moon appears as a complete circle in the sky and we see it as a full orb, says the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, because the whole of the side of the Moon facing the Earth is lit up by the Sun's rays.

Because the Moon produces no visible light of its own we can only see the parts of it which are lit by other objects. Alongside a small amount of light from distant starts and the reflection of light from Earth the main source of its light is from the Sun.

A full Moon occurs every 29.5 days. Image: Adobe.
A full Moon occurs every 29.5 days. Image: Adobe.

This week's Cold Moon is expected to peak early on Thursday morning at 4.08am.

But it should be - weather conditions depending - visible either side of the peak and so stargazers keen to catch sight of the full moon should be on the lookout any time from Wednesday night until about 7am tomorrow.

The next full moon - and the first of 2023 - will take place on Friday, January 6.

England's level three cold weather alert remains in place until 9am Monday, December 12.



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