Start of winter, a full moon and a meteor shower

Pablo Tucker
December 23, 2018

The moon will appear full both on Friday and Saturday nights. The day is also known as the mid-winter day which has the longest night of the year.

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

Some typical possible daylight hours at the December (Northern Hemisphere's winter) solstice. When the sun rises on the winter and summer solstices, its rays shine through a small hole at the top of one of the stone buildings, which creates a starburst effect.

Winter Solstice is an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when the Earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. Eastern, while the full moon will appear the following day at 12:48 p.m. Fremont Art Council is holding a winter solstice feast, complete with decorations and costumes.

From tomorrow we'll see the days get ever so slightly longer until they reach the summer solstice on 21 June, where hopefully we'll bask in more than 16 hours of sunshine.

For some, the winter solstice is a time to hunker indoors, preferably in front of a fireplace with a warm drink in hand and woolen socks on the feet. The Sun seems to stand still in the winter sky, marking the shortest day and longest night of the year.

So what's going on with this full moon?

The solstice and the full moon are happening less than a day apart. In fact, the last solstice to take place on December 23 was in 1903, and it won't happen again until 2303. So it's not a once-in-a-lifetime event, but still, you don't see this too often.

The Ursids meteor shower should be visible in the mid-Northern Hemisphere, according to the American Meteor Society. For instance, people in South Florida might expect just three per hour while people in Juneau, Alaska, might expect seven per hour. Nevertheless, experts can't agree on whether this month's full moon should also be considered a supermoon.

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