Rudolph should be able to take it a little easier this week thanks to a rare Christmas full moon.
For the first time in almost four decades, a full moon will light up the Pacific Northwest sky, making the landscape glow – especially where there is snow.
“Not only will the moon be full, but it also will be directly overhead,” said Guy Worthey, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Washington State University. “With a break in cloud cover, it should make for impressive viewing.”
The last full moon on Christmas was in 1977 and the next won’t appear until 2034, he said.
Also called a yuletide moon, it occurs when days are shortest and nights longest. This year it will start on Christmas Eve and peak on Christmas morning at 3:11 a.m.
In other words, the moon will light Santa’s way as he makes his deliveries with his reindeer.
“It will track high in the sky and be out all night,” said Worthey. “Think of it as a present that people won’t have to unwrap.”