Last Full Moon Of The Year To Light Up The Holidays

Last Full Moon Of The Year To Light Up The Holidays

2018's winter solstice is bringing a full moon and possible meteor shower with it!

The day marks the circling of sun by our planet earth, resulting into the South Pole angling closest to the sun on December 21, that is today.

The word "solstice" is derived from the Latin term, solstitium, which means "the sun stands still". Meanwhile, Earth's rotation keeps the sun's heat even, sort of like a 7,917-mile-wide rotisserie chicken made of rock and a little water.

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. This year, that occurs at 2:23 p.m. December 21.

If the skies are clear at 3pm this afternoon - Friday 21st December - it is advised to head outside and enjoy the rare natural phenomenon. At that point, the sun's most direct rays reach the Tropic of Cancer, summer starts for the Northern Hemisphere, and winter begins for those south of the equator.

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The longest night of the year seemed to drop in early on Friday afternoon with a blanket of fog and rain over Maine. Astronomically and metaphorically, the Winter Solstice serves as a representation of both the end of the year and the beginning of a new one.

Yes, today is the "shortest" day of the year - or a least, it has the least daylight.

Over many centuries, this moon has been called several names: Cold Moon, Cold Full Moon, Long Night Moon (by some Native American tribes) or the Moon Before Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon lunar calendar).

This weekend - for a period of a few hours on Saturday - we'll see what's known as the Full Cold Moon.

The festival of Faugni ignis' in Italy (fires of Faunus) is a millenary popular rite when propitiatory fires were lit by peasants before the winter solstice to invoke the favors of Faunus, god of fertility. Read on for everything you need to know about the solstice.

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