full moon december 2020 toronto

Photos of Toronto's final full moon of December 2020 show extraordinary corona

If you looked up to the sky in Toronto on Dec. 29 and were absolutely taken with the full moon, you're certainly not alone.

It was the last full moon of 2020 — also the only one of the month of December, earning it the epithet of "cold moon" — and shone so brightly over the skyline that, depending on where you were viewing from, had a dramatically discernable halo.

That halo is, quite fittingly, called a corona, and served as apt punctuation to a year completely defined by the novel coronavirus.

The optical phenomenon is caused when the light of the sun, moon (whose light is already a reflection in itself), planet or other star is refracted off of microscopic ice or water floating in our atmosphere.

The stunning peak of the sight was around 10:30 on Tuesday night, and it had residents out scrambling to snap photos as it illuminated the city.

Thankfully, full moons stick around above the horizon line for a longer period of time, giving us all a better chance to take them in.

The fact that the earth is nestled between the sun and the moon at this time of month, giving us a view of its entire face as lit up by our star, is what makes it appear as round and vivid as it does.

Depending on the light exposure, some photo and video footage showed the moon as a bright dot with a strongly visible corona, and others were more focused on the finer details of our satellite friend.

Either way, it was a breathtaking sight leading up to the New Year and, hopefully, better times for us all with the arrival of the vaccine and a return to something resembling normalcy after months of fear, isolation and lockdowns.

We can look forward to the first full moon of 2021, known as the Wolf Moon, on the evening of Jan. 28.

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