Winter trifecta: Solstice, full moon, meteor shower on Friday, Saturday

Katie Ramirez
December 21, 2018

Shown above is the orientation of the Earth relative to the sun's most direct rays around the time of the Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice. From then on, days will get longer by a matter of seconds, then minutes, until the longest day of the year in June.

The Tor provides the ideal vantage point to watch the sunrise on the shortest day of the year, being much higher than the surrounding ground.

That precise instant in time - in 2018, at 5:23 p.m. EST on December 21 - is the solstice.

When is the winter solstice?

On mornings around the winter solstice a beam of light travels through a hole in Newgrange and lights up a 19 metre passage. Seattle Effective Altruists are holding a secular solstice celebration at The Factory Luxe in the historic Rainier Brewery building.

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Friday marks the winter solstice, the day with the least amount of sunlight in 2018.

What is the winter solstice? In the Northern Hemisphere, it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, which is located at 23.5° south of the equator and runs through Australia, Chile, southern Brazil, and northern South Africa. It's what many consider the first day of winter.

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac the December Full moon typically happens when the nights become long and winter cold tends to take over the country.

Google Doodle today marks winter solstice - the shortest day and longest night of the year - a phenomena that occurs when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun.

The moon will appear full both Friday and Saturday night and the next time a Cold Moon will appear so close to the solstice will be 2029.

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