Science

Snowy Google Doodle marks winter solstice

Snowy Google Doodle marks winter solstice

The winter solstice - when the Earth's titled axis is facing its farthest from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere - happens at 3:23 p.m. today (Dec. 21) and marks the start of winter.

Given that the moon on the winter solstice will be at 99.5 percent illumination, most people would be hard-pressed not to think it's the actual full moon.

The equinoxes, both spring and fall, mark when the sun's rays are directly over the equator, where we have equal length of day and night. While we in Chewelah are seeing the shortest days of the year, those in the southern hemisphere are seeing the longest.

Thousands of people gather at Stonehenge in England to watch the sunrise on the winter solstice. As mentioned above, this Winter solstice 2018 is even more special as less than the day after the solstice, we will be able to see the last Full Moon of the year. Eastern, while the full moon will appear the following day at 12:48 p.m.

During the same time, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing their summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year.




A full moon will occur December 22, bringing a bright light to the start of winter.

If you're wondering how special this Cold Moon is so close to the solstice, it will be 2029 before it happens again. In some tribes, it was called the Long Nights Moon, given the long nights and short days of December. But that means it looks full Friday night and Saturday night. According to spaceweather.com, the Ursid meteor shower isn't overly active most years only producing 5 to 10 meteors per hour.

Now what about that meteor shower?

A brilliant full moon rises at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2017.


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