Rudolph’s nose may not need to be quite so bright on the way back to the North Pole this Christmas. For the first time since 1977, the sky will be lit up with a full moon.
The rare event is called the Full Cold Moon because it occurs during the beginning of winter. This year’s peak will happen on Friday, at exactly 3:11 a.m., Oregon time.
While many will no doubt still be fast asleep, anyone who does want to see the moon will have a good chance to view it, according to KGW Meteorologist Rod Hill.
He said partly cloudy skies are in the forecast, but it looks like conditions could break for good sky watching.
“A cold night with partly cloudy skies and maybe a snowflake in the air could go mostly clear at times, allowing a great view of the moon and maybe Santa's sleigh, too,” Hill said.
The Christmas full moon phenomenon won’t happen again until 2034, according to NASA officials who track this kind of thing.
“As we look at the moon on such an occasion, it's worth remembering that the moon is more than just a celestial neighbor,” said John Keller, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “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.”