First Full Moon On Christmas Since 1977

December 25, 2015

As Santa made his way across the world he was helped by the light of a full moon early this morning [Dec 25], which is actually the first full moon to fall on Christmas Day since 1977, and according to astronomers there will not be another full moon on Christmas Day until 2034.

Christmas Full Moon 2015 Bermuda (1)

EarthSky report, “The December 25, 2015 full moon is the Western Hemisphere’s first full moon on Christmas Day since 1977. We won’t have another full moon on a Christmas Day until 2034. A 19-year cycle of the moon – called the Metonic Cycle – is the reason.”

“Amazingly, the moon’s phases recur on [or near] the same calendar dates every 19 years. This cycle – known as the Metonic cycle – happens because 235 returns to full moon almost exactly equal 19 years.

Christmas Full Moon 2015 Bermuda (2)

“So, in other words, the phases of the moon realign [or nearly realign] with the same calendar dates every 19 years. We just missed a full moon on Christmas 19 years ago; instead, the full moon fell on Christmas Eve. It was December 24, 1996 at 20:41 Universal Time, or UT.

“But two Metonic cycles ago – 38 years [or 2 X 19 years] – the full moon fell on Christmas Day. That full moon happened on December 25, 1977.”

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Category: All, Environment, News

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