Winter Trifecta: Solstice, Full Moon, Meteor Shower on Friday, Saturday

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This year's meteor viewing may be a bit more difficult with a full moon because light pollution from the moon makes it harder to see those meteors, but it sounds like the meteor shower should be active enough for a few to be visible.

The long December nights bring crystal clear skies to the Northern Hemisphere, allowing the Cold Moon to glow brightly in the night sky.

If you are not aware, Winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year.

What is the winter solstice? The solstice marks the astronomical start of winter, whereas, in the Southern Hemisphere, December 21 marks the start of summer. This happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere.

This marks the day with the shortest duration of daylight in the northern hemisphere.

When is the winter solstice? The Long Night Moon is named after the longest night of the year on the winter solstice.

However, the moon may appear bigger when it is near the horizon due to something known as the moon illusion. This tilt in Earth's axis of rotation gives different parts of the planet more exposure to the Sun at different times of the year. At Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, people similarly come together to watch the sun being cast over the famous prehistoric monument.

In Ireland, people convene at a 5,000-year-old gravesite called Newgrange, where they wait for a chance to see the sunrise lighting up the tomb. In Iran, this event is celebrated as Yalda night or Shab-e-Yalda.

The winter solstice is marked with ceremonies and celebrations across the globe.

Around the time of the winter solstice, the sun is farthest south in the sky at noon in the Northern Hemisphere. "The major attraction of the festival are the rice balls called 'Tang Yuan, ' which translate to 'family reunion".

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