Snowy Google Doodle marks winter solstice

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The December Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its most southerly declination, that's when the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the Sun.

Friday also marks the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere when it will pass through its longest night of the year.

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

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

Every full moon has a different name depending on what time of year it falls.

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When is the winter solstice?

However, the moon may appear bigger when it is near the horizon due to something known as the moon illusion.

This year's Winter Solstice will coincide with a Full Cold Moon - the full moon of December, according to Space.com.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the sun will shine directly overhead at Noon at exactly 23.5 degrees south of the equator, along the imaginary latitude line known as the Tropic of Capricorn, which runs through Australia, Chile, southern Brazil and northern South Africa. 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.

At Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, large crowds gather to celebrate and capture the moment when the sun directly aligns with the famous stones. In Iran, the occasion is celebrated as Yalda night or Shab-e-Yalda. On the other hand, the winter solstice also marks the longest day of in the Southern Hemisphere. While locals enjoy rice balls meaning "family reunion". The treat is said to bring prosperity and unity.

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