PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – You may have heard about the full moon on 12/12 occurring at 12:12 a.m. by now. The timing of that full moon makes it a little special, but that is certainly not the only thing happening Wednesday night into Thursday.
The southern sky is going to have a whole lot going on, making for a night of “heavenly bodies” moving across the sky. If you stay up all night and find a good vantage point, you have the potential to see five planets and the full “Cold Moon” over the course of the night.
NOTE: If you’re not an experienced sky watcher, an app like Google Sky Map will be beneficial in finding the exact locations of the planets
Near sunset, look to the southwest sky. You will have a very quick opportunity to see Jupiter before it drops below the horizon. While you’re at it, you can see Saturn and Venus for a little more than an hour and a half.
Next up is 12:12 a.m. Thursday morning. This also happens to be Dec. 12, or 12/12. At this moment, the moon officially becomes “full.” This will also occur in the southern sky. This full moon is also known as the “Cold Moon,” since it occurs during the month where cold takes over the weather.
If you want to stay up really late, or get up really early, you have the chance to see a couple more planets!
Mars and Mercury will both be visible just before sunrise. These will show up in the southeast sky.
Some of these may be faint and a telescope or binoculars can help you get a better glimpse. The star map or sky map app you use will help you tune into the right direction.
So, while the 12/12 full moon is catching some buzz because of its timing, but the whole night offers some potential to see more than half the plants in the solar system. That’s something cool to go with this Cold Moon.