Not only will the “Cold Moon” reach peak illumination around 8:09 p.m. PST on Wednesday, but it is also expected to fully eclipse Mars.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, December’s full moon has a pretty high orbit in the sky, which basically means it will stay above the horizon for a longer period of time than most full moons.
Experts say you can start to watch the “lunar occultation” — the moon meeting and obscuring Mars — start just a few hours after sunset, so they encourage anyone eager to see it to find Mars earlier in the night so as to keep an eye on its location.
“We will see the Moon drift very, very closely to Mars and then obscure it entirely,” according to the Almanac.
Mars will look like a bright “star” with a reddish glow around it and will be somewhere to the left or lower left of the moon, according to the Almanac.
The Cold Moon, the Almanac says, is so called because of its appearance at the time of year “when cold weather truly begins to grip us.”
To see when it will appear in your area, check out the Moonrise Calculator.