Winter Solstice 2018: Google Doodle marks shortest day of the year today

Cesar Mills
December 21, 2018

The cold moon-what a full moon is called this time of year-will also be visible around the same time and peaking around mid-day on December 22, Quartz reported.

On this day, the North Pole angles farthest away from the sun, the Google blog explained.

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.

This year it is particularly special as the upcoming December full moon, named the Cold Moon, will be visible in the night sky along with the Ursid meteor shower. At the peak there should be about 11 sporadic meteors per hour just before dawn.

On winter solstice, cities in the Northern Hemisphere experience the shortest days and the longest nights of the year. The day and time of the solstice vary each year.

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Stargazers may be able to enjoy shooting stars and a full moon during today's Winter Solstice.

Because of this year's overlap, NASA's meteor expert Bill Cooke dubbed the meteor shower the "Cursed Ursids". The last full moon of the year is also known as Cold Full Moon, Long Night Moon and Cold Moon around the globe.

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

People around the world have celebrated this astronomical milestone for centuries.

At the Stonehenge in United Kingdom, people come together to capture the moment when the sun aligns with the rocks at sunrise and sunset. China marks the start of winter with the Dongzhi festival, during which families come together and enjoy rice balls called tangyuan. This treat is said to bring prosperity and unity.

Other reports by GizPress

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