Not since 1977 has a full moon dawned in the skies on Christmas and barring this year, this rare event would not happen again until 2034, the US space agency noted.December's full moon, the last of the year, is called the Full Cold Moon because it occurs during the beginning of winter.

"As we look at the moon on such an occasion, it is worth remembering that the moon is more than just a celestial neighbour," said John Keller, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland. 'The geologic history of the moon and Earth are intimately tied together such that the Earth would be a dramatically different planet without the moon,'Kelle noted.

NASA has a spacecraft currently orbiting Earth's moon. Its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission has been investigating the lunar surface since 2009.LRO has collected a treasure trove of data with its seven powerful instruments, making an invaluable contribution to our knowledge about the moon.

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