By Samantha Mathewson, Space.com Contributor | December 13, 2016 06:31am ET
The December full Cold Moon will rise tonight (Dec. 13), marking the third and final supermoon to grace the sky in 2016.
A supermoon occurs when the moon is full and at its closest point to Earth in its 27-day orbit. December’s full moon follows November's full Beaver Moon and October’s full Hunter’s Moon — both of which are also supermoons. In fact, November’s full moon was the closest to Earth since 1948, and the full moon won't come that close again until Nov. 25, 2034.
Tonight’s supermoon also coincides with this year's Geminid meteor shower, and, as with any full moon, the bright light will obscure some of the fainter shooting stars in the Geminids. A supermoon appears about 30 percent brighter in the sky than a full moon that's positioned at its farthest distance from Earth. The full moon will reach its peak fullness tonight at 7:05 p.m. EST (0005 GMT on Dec. 14), but it will appear full to the casual observer the night before and the night after the main event. [Supermoon December 2016: When, Where & How to See It]