Published: Fri, December 21, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

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

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

However, if you want to mark the solstice at sunrise or sunset, it will rise at 8.04am and set at 3.53pm in London on 21 December - giving us just seven hours and 49 minutes of daylight. 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.

The annual occurrence, which occurs on December 21, signals the transition from fall to winter and the incremental increase of daylight in coming months in the Northern Hemisphere.

Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years.

The winter solstice falls on December 21, making it the shortest day and the longest night of the year. At that point, the Earth's North Pole is tilted farthest away from the Sun.

Friday night is the best time to see the full cold moon.

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The last time the full moon coincided with the winter solstice was in 2010.

Because of this year's overlap, NASA's meteor expert Bill Cooke dubbed the meteor shower the "Cursed Ursids".

Stargazers may be able to enjoy shooting stars and a full moon during today's Winter Solstice. The sun would be at its lowest position throughout the Northern Hemisphere sky.

In Ireland, people gather days before the solstice at Newgrange - a massive gravesite that's more than 5,000 years old. The most well-known solstice celebration occurs at the prehistoric Stonehenge ruins in Wiltshire, England, where druids, pagans and others come together to mark the event. In China, where they call the Winter Solstice Dongzhi Festival, people enjoy rice balls called tang yuan, which translates to "family reunion". This treat is said to bring prosperity and unity.

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