Winter Solstice: Google doodle celebrates shortest day of the year

The full cold moon

That precise instant in time - in 2018, at 5:23 p.m. EST on December 21 - is the solstice.

To talk about the science behind winter solstice, it marks the shortest day in the Northern Hemisphere since the sun is positioned at its most southerly position while directly overheating at the Tropic of Capricorn.

In the south, it's just the reverse though.

The winter solstice is juxtaposed by the summer solstice which typically falls on June 21 and marks the longest day and shortest night of the year.

But in the United Kingdom (and rest of the northern hemisphere) it means the sun rising earlier and setting later as we journey again towards the spring equinox.

The moon will appear full both on Friday and Saturday nights. The full moon will happen December 22 around 12:49 p.m.

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While the change won't be noticeable on a day-to-day basis, the winter solstice brings the promise that soon, you may see the light before and after work instead of living in perpetual darkness.

According to, the Ursid meteor shower isn't overly active most years only producing 5 to 10 meteors per hour.

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

The occasion is a cause for celebration in some regions around the world.

The Weather Network is predicting a longer, colder, winter this year and today will definitely turn more winter-like this afternoon with snow and blowing snow, driven by northerly winds gusting to 50 km/h.

At the Stonehenge in United Kingdom, people come together to capture the moment when the sun aligns with the rocks at sunrise and sunset. Crowds selected by lottery wait for a chance to see the sunrise light up the ancient passage tomb. It's really a case of "Sunny side down" for the Earth today!


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