Friday, 18 January, 2019

Today's Winter Solstice features a full moon and meteor shower

Winter trifecta: Solstice, full moon, meteor shower on Friday, Saturday Today is the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year
Theresa Hayes | 23 December, 2018, 10:27

That precise instant in time - in 2018, at 5:23 p.m. EST on December 21 - is the solstice. This makes 2018 Winter Solstice extra-special.

But this year's winter solstice is a bit different - as there will also be a full moon and a meteor shower on Friday night.

The winter solstice brings the shortest day of the year, with just 8 hours and 56 minutes of sunlight in Portland and even less in Lubec, to the northeast, which saw only 8 hours and 47 minutes of sunlight. The maximum tilt away from the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere means the shortest day of the year and longest night of the year in 2018.

How is the Winter Solstice observed throughout the world?

The winter solstice is the day when we see the shortest amount of daylight and the longest night.

Today's Google Doodle celebrates the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere which, technically, is the precise moment that the Earth's North Pole is tilted furthest away from the Sun.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the sun will shine directly overhead at Noon at exactly 23.5 degrees south of the equator, along the imaginary latitude line known as the Tropic of Capricorn, which runs through Australia, Chile, southern Brazil and northern South Africa.

Today marks 182 days until summer! The solstice marks the astronomical start of winter, whereas, in the Southern Hemisphere, December 21 marks the start of summer. After this event, when the days and nights are equal in length, the days in Finland will start growing longer by five minutes a day, on average.

After she is full on the 22nd, the waning moon will diminish on her way to the last quarter moon of the year, which will occur on December 29 at 4:34 am EST. Watch Historic Live Stream of Natural Wonder, Full Moon and Meteor Shower From Newgrange in Ireland.

A meteor shower will be visible if the skies are clear.

Experts reckon the best time to see the shooting stars will be in the early hours of Saturday morning, when it's darkest.