Houston tonight: Cold moon, cool timing
HOUSTON – Tonight’s full moon is called the cold moon as winter tightens its grip. Officially, by Universal Time Code, the full moon occurs at 5:12 a.m. Thursday, meaning for us at 11:12 p.m. tonight since we are six hours behind UTC. And the East Coast is only five hours behind UTC, so their moon is full early tomorrow morning at 12:12 a.m.
So. when looking at the dates and times for full moons, it’s fun to note that for us this occurs on the date of 12/11 at 11:12 p.m. For Eastern Standard Time, it’s even better: full moon on 12/12 at 12:12 a.m.
I love the number “12”. It’s a “completing” number that brings order to the world. There are 12 months in a year, our day is divided into 12 hours of a.m. and p.m., there were 12 disciples and 12 tribes of Israel. Our juries have 12 members. And given that Kevin and I married on 12/12/12, clearly I’m over the moon about that date!
Pre-Wedding Jitters on 12/12/12 in Manhattan.
Given all this moon and timing interest, I wondered if the Full Moon could ever rise at Midnight? You'd think with all the lunacy about the moon, that would be a given. But, according to the National Education Association, the answer is NO:
"The sun always illuminates half of the moon. The phase of the moon that we see depends on how much of the illuminated surface is visible from earth. When the sun illuminates the same half of the moon that we see, the moon looks full.
"That happens when the sun, earth, and moon are approximately lined up, with the earth between the sun and moon. So the moon and the sun are on opposite sides of our sky. When the moon is coming up, the sun is going down.
“At midnight, the sun is approximately straight down, shining on the opposite side of the earth. If the moon is full, then at midnight it is straight up. It’s not just starting to rise over the horizon.”
They also note this question could never be asked on a high school standardized test because not enough students would know the answer! So now ya know.
Here’s another fun fact: when a month has two full moons in it, the second one is called the Blue Moon and, guess what? We have a Blue Moon coming in 2020. And guess when? Halloween.
Yep, we’ll have two full moons in October of next year and the second one will be on Halloween. If that doesn’t make you go crazy, nothing will.
Enjoy tonight’s cold, clear full moon and get ready for a slow warming trend into the weekend.
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