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

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

The winter solstice is in full stride today, December 21, which boasts the fewest hours of daylight for 2018 in the Northern Hemisphere.

Although some people think that the whole day is the solstice, there is actually a specific time in the day when the solstice occurs.

This year's solstice is special as it will be followed the next day by the year's last full moon, called the Cold Moon, and the Ursid meteor shower.

Scientists are not absolutely sure how this happened, but they think that billions of years ago, as the solar system was taking shape, the Earth was subject to violent collisions that caused the axis to tilt.

The date marks the 24-hour period with the fewest hours of daylight in the year, which is why it is known as the shortest day and longest night. The full moon in the month of December is called "The Cold Moon".

There's some hope to be found in the gloom of these dark December days: The winter solstice is here, which means the days will gradually get longer after Friday.

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The least amount of possible daylight hours occurs on the winter solstice.

There's also a meteor shower.

The American Meteor Society says the Ursids should be visible in the mid-Northern Hemisphere.

For those who want to celebrate, there are a number of events in Seattle. "As the Earth moves around the sun, each hemisphere experiences winter when it's tilted away from the sun and summer when it's tilted toward the sun", according to CNN.

In Ireland, people gather at Newgrange, a massive 5,000 years old gravesite, to witness the sunrise lighting up the ancient tomb.

Winter Solstice in China is referred to as the Dongzhi Festival.

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