The last full moon of 2017 that will occur on December 3, 2017, will be a supermoon bringing a dramatic end to the year. A full moon happens at perigree – the time when the moon is closest to Earth and this time it will appear full for three days from Friday to Monday, making this a full Moon weekend. As the last full Moon of Autumn, this moon also has a special name and is known as the Frost Moon or the Moon Before Yule. It is also called Long Night Moon, or the Moon before Yule. In 1930’s the Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published Indian names for the full moons. According to this almanac, the Native American name given to this full moon was the Frost Moon as frosts appear at the end of the autumn or fall season. “Moon before Yule” was the name given by Europeans. Previous to this full moon Hunter’s Moon had occurred. Today’s full moon commemorates the Hindu festival of Dattatreya Jayanti.
This is the first of three supermoons as the full Moon occurs about 17 hours before perigree. The full moon will be a mere 492 km (306 miles) away from Earth, making it appear 13.6% larger in diameter and 29% larger in the area. The moon will also appear 7% more intense and brighter because the Earth will be at its closest to the Sun (called perihelion) in early January and due to this the Moon will get more sunlight to reflect. This is the reason winter-time supermoons appear brighter. Hunter’s Moon 2017: Reason Behind The Name For The Full Moon That Will Occur This Week
In lunisolar calendars followed by different religions and cultures, the months change with the new Moon and full Moons fall in the middle of the lunar months. This full moon falls in the Margashirsha month in the Hindu calendar and the Margashirsha Purnima is commemorated as the birthday of the Hindu god Dattatreya (Datta) who is a combined form of the Hindu male divine trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The day is celebrated as Dattatreya Jayanti.
This full moon is the only full supermoon of 2017 and will start off a series of three full supermoons in a row. The full moons of January 2 and January 31 will be supermoons but they will be blue supermoons. A “blue moon” is a rare phenomenon of two full moons occurring in the same month.