It's the first time a full moon has appeared in the Christmas morning sky in 38 years.
This was a pretty special Christmas for astronomical reasons.
For the first time in 38 years, there was a full moon warming the Earth with its glow early on Christmas morning, according to a Mirror report.
It’s called the Full Cold Moon as it happens at the beginning of winter, and this time it happened to fall on Christmas day. If you missed it, you’re going to have to wait 22 years for it to happen again — the next one is slated for 2037.
It provided the opportunity for many specatcular Christmas morning photos, and NASA took advantage with its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, snapping some great images. Pictures of the moon also flooded Twitter by awestruck stargazers around the world.
It’s the last full moon of 2015 and culminates a very busy year for our closest neighbor. But there will be plenty more events to look forward to in 2016. For one thing, the moon will be at 252,158 miles from Earth and appear as a spectacular waning crescent next Christmas, certainly a very different sight from this year’s version.
John Keller of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a NASA statement that it’s a good opportunity to appreciate the moon as more than just a piece of rock orbiting our planet, but something that is fundamental to our identity.
“As we look at the moon on such an occasion, it’s worth remembering that the moon is more than just a celestial neighbor,” Keller said. “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.”