Yesterday marked the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the official start to winter in the Northern hemisphere. But yesterday’s solstice was particularly unique, as it aligned with two other special astronomical events: the full moon named the Cold Moon or the Long Night Moon as well as the Ursid meteor shower.
While the peak full moon didn’t fall exactly on the solstice yesterday (it’s peak hitting today at 12:49 PM Eastern Standard Time), if you are looking up into the sky within the 48-hour block, you will likely catch the full beauty of the moon.
You might also catch the Ursid meteor shower, which peaks on December 21 and 22, and you could even be able to see Mercury and Jupiter! The coincidence of all these astronomical events are certainly rare – the last time the full moon aligned with the winter solstice was in 2010 and the next event will not be until 2094!