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

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That's when the northern hemisphere is at its maximum tilt away from the sun.

Then it takes 93 days and 14 hours for the sun's zenith to get back to the equator and kick off the September equinox, followed by 89 days and 19 hours to complete the cycle with the December solstice.

Shown above is the orientation of the Earth relative to the sun's most direct rays around the time of the Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice. The change of season on the earth happen due to the the tilt of the earth at 23.5° and its revolution around the sun.

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This trend will continue until the summer solstice on 21 June, the longest day of the year, after which the days will start to grow shorter once again.

If we track the full moon cycle and the winter solstice for the next several years, we see we won't have the two events in such close proximity for over a decade.

A snowy Google Doodle on Friday marked the 2018 winter solstice, the shortest day of the year when the Earth is farthest from the Sun. As the Earth moves around the sun, each hemisphere experiences winter when it's tilted away from the sun and summer when it's tilted toward the sun.

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On December 22 at 17:49 UTC, people will be able to see the last full moon of the year. But that means it looks full Friday night and Saturday night.

For people living in the Southern hemisphere, the South Pole is pointing towards the Sun, making it summertime and the summer solstice today.

The Ursids meteor shower will be visible tonight. The moon is set to become officially full on December 22 at 12:49 p.m. EST. The best viewing with most meteor showers happens in the hours prior to sunrise (midnight to 5 a.m.) and under a dark sky.

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In China, where they call the Winter Solstice Dongzhi Festival, people enjoy rice balls called tang yuan, which translates to "family reunion".

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