Christmas this year will see a full Moon for the first time in almost 4 decades! And in an unrelated but beautiful cosmic coincidence, the last time this happened was the year Star Wars: A New Hope was released (1977). This year, of course, sees the return of the successful space franchise with The Force Awakens.
The Moon will be completely lit up by the Sun at 11:11 a.m. GMT on Friday the 25th of December, so the moon with be brightest on either side of that time. This incredible event comes just three days after the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice, on Tuesday 22nd December.
In other festive space news, Christmas Eve will also see the International Space Station travel through the sky for observers in the U.K., with it moving from west to southeast from 5:19 to 5:26 p.m. GMT – although we all already know that it’s Santa’s sleigh making its way around the world to deliver pressies to good boys and girls.
The next full Moon on Christmas will appear in 2034, so if history is anything to go by, that’s when we can look forward to the next good Star Wars sequel.