November’s full moon, known as the Beaver Moon, lit up the sky Sunday night well into Monday morning. However, it won’t be too much longer before the next moon event takes place in December, just days before the winter solstice. The next full moon, called a Full Cold Moon because it marks the month leading to some of the coldest temperatures and longest nights, is set to rise on Dec. 13, according to Almanac.
Also referred to as the Long Nights Moon by some Native American tribes or called the Moon before Yule, the Full Cold Moon occurs just before the winter solstice – a day that receives the least amount of daylight each year – which occurs this year on Dec. 21. The December moon also got the name Long Nights Moon because the full moon event just so happens to be the night when the moon hangs in the horizon for the longest period of time each year. Every 19 years, December’s Full Cold Moon and winter solstice arrive on the same day, resulting in a lunar eclipse. The last time the Full Cold Moon and the winter solstice occurred simultaneously was in 2010.
In ancient culture, the Full Cold Moon and winter solstice were a celebratory occasion in many cultures as farmers would use the time to rest and prepare for the new agricultural year. Some tribes would perform candle-lighting rituals around the time of the Full Cold Moon and winter solstice in effort to convince the sun to return.
This week's full moon, referred to as a supermoon because it was at its closest point to the Earth during the lunar orbit, was not only the biggest and brightest moon to rise in the last 69 years but the Beaver Moon’s recent close proximity to Earth also marks the last time the moon will hang so low in the hemisphere for the next 18 years. The next time the moon will rise at its perigee – the term used to describe the closest point to Earth during the moon’s orbit – will be on Nov. 25, 2034, according to Space.com.