What is a full and cold moon? Everything you need to know about Supermoon


The first and only super moon of 2017 has arrived, and that's how you can see it live from all over the world on Sunday night. While you may have heard the term supermoon before, "the cold moon" may not be so familiar; What is it?

The brightest and most normal moon on Sunday is called "Full Moon", for a reason that is much more obvious than you can imagine, but it is very appropriate.

"The Cold Moon gets its name because December is the month when it really starts to cool, although our coldest temperatures are in January," according to NASA.

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"Cold Moon" is a much less applicable name for the Southern Hemisphere, where it is currently summer. The inhabitants of New Zealand's Maori-indigenous Polynesia used names to combine with both the moon and the lunar month. In November and December they use the word Hakihea, which means "the birds are now sitting in their nests," according to The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

 12_3_Luce Luna Clear clouds allows a view of The final full moon of the year, a so-called "Cold Moon", as it appears behind the lights that illuminate the Penzance waterfront on December 13, 2016 in Cornwall, England. The last full moon of the year was also the final supermoon of 2016. The natural phenomenon occurs when the perigee (the closest approach by the Moon to Earth) coincides with being full (completely illuminated by the Sun). Matt Cardy / Getty Images

The full moon of December is sometimes also called the moon of long nights, reports Space.com. The two names mentioned above are ancient and relate to the cold weather and the long, dark winter nights in the northern hemisphere, according to timeanddate.com. Another popular name among Europeans is "Luna before Yule", which was derived from the Anglo-Saxons.

"Yule is an ancient winter festival in northern Europe that is now badociated with Christmas," NASA reports.

December full moon was also known as Wolf Moon, but now that name is much more common for the full moon of January. The name comes from animals that gathered on Native American properties.

 12_2_Mbadive Supermoon The moon sets during its orbit closest to Earth since 1948 on November 14, 2016 in Venice Beach, California. The so-called Supermoon appears up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter as it approaches 22,000 miles closer to Earth than the average, although for the casual observer, the increase seems slight. Christopher Polk / Getty Images

"Amidst the cold temperatures and the deep snows of mid-winter, wolf packs howled hungrily outside Native American villages. Full Wolf Moon is also known as the Old Moon and the Moon after Yule, "reports Space.com.

Many of the names used to indicate specific full moon refer to important aspects of Native American culture. For example, the full moon of November was called "Full Beaver Moon", referring to an important animal among the tribes in the winter months.

"This was the time of year when the ancient Native American tribes set up beaver traps to ensure a supply of warm winter skins before the swamps froze," according to Space.com. "Another interpretation suggests that the name Beaver Full Moon stems from the fact that beavers are now active in their preparation for winter."

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