Published: Mon, December 24, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Winter trifecta: Solstice, full moon, meteor shower on Friday, Saturday

Winter trifecta: Solstice, full moon, meteor shower on Friday, Saturday

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.

Today is the winter solstice, the longest night and the shortest daylight hours of the year. We also see the sun rise and set in the East and West at different points in the horizon. This year the Winter Solstice will happen in Northern Hemisphere on Saturday, 22 December 2018 at 3:53 am.

If you stand on the Tropic of Capricorn at midday on Friday, the sun will appear more or less directly overhead.

In Sydney, Australia, they're having their summer solstice - mornings will start getting darker from the middle of December, and evenings will get lighter until early January. But today's winter solstice is actually rather special, according to CNN. We will also see our final meteor shower of the year.

Rather, the Earth has a tilt of roughly 23.5 degrees off a vertical axis. According to Space.com, the last time a full moon coincided with the solstice was in 2010, and it is not expected to happen again until 2094. Other names for this day include Yule, Midwinter and The Longest Night. The full moon in the month of December is called "The Cold Moon".

The winter solstice occurs when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted the furthermost from the sun, decreasing the amount of energy that reaches Earth.

In Maine, much smaller winter solstice celebrations take place around the state, such as Harpswell Heritage Land Trust's Winter Solstice Lantern Walk, the Maine Audubon Winter Solstice Celebration with Spirit Passages at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, and the Belfast Unitarian Universalist Church Winter Solstice event. Read on for everything you need to know about the solstice.

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