Winter Solistice 2018: Google Doodle celebrates the shortest day of the year


Today marks the winter solstice, which brings us the shortest day of the year. This causes the sun to shine 24 hours a day north of the Arctic-a natural wonder known as the Midnight Sun, while most of the world is experiencing winter.

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

Around the time of the winter solstice, the sun is farthest south in the sky at noon in the Northern Hemisphere. For Jews, the winter solstice is called "Tekufat Tevet", which marks the start of winter.

It will officially begin at 5:23 NY this year.

Friday night is also the peak of the Ursid meteor shower, but a near-full moon and cloud cover will make for poor meteor-viewing conditions.

On December 22 at 17:49 UTC, people will be able to see the last full moon of the year.

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The number of daylight hours peaks at summer solstice - in the United Kingdom, summer solstice sees 16 hours, 38 minutes and 19 seconds of daylight to be enjoyed. This will happen again in 2029.

Around the full moon phase, the moon is visible in the sky generally from sunset to sunrise. That's because it's winter solstice, a day on which most of the USA clocks fewer than 10 hours of daylight, reports the Washington Post.

That also, of course, means the night will be longer, which means even more time for moon-gazing and meteor shower spotting!

The moon will help enliven the long night, and, as the US National Weather Service points out, we can now look forward to daylight increasing for the next six months.

Some typical possible daylight hours at the December (Northern Hemisphere's winter) solstice.

Now what about that meteor shower?