Winter Arrives With A Full Moon And Meteors

Yab Yum Yoga Studio owners Sam Flemming with Si Mullumby and Rhiannon Edwards at Scarborough Beach

It's the shortest day of the year, with just 9 hours and 53 minutes of daylight compared to the typical 12, according to the National Weather Service.

The winter solstice is juxtaposed by the summer solstice which typically falls on June 21 and marks the longest day and shortest night of the year.

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

In the astronomical calendar, the start and end dates are based on the changing position of the Earth in relation to the sun and the resulting solar events of equinoxes and solstice.

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

Friday marks the winter solstice, the day with the least amount of sunlight in 2018.

Why it happens: "Because the Earth is tilted on its rotational axis, we experience seasons here on Earth".

On this day, the North Pole angles farthest away from the sun, the Google blog explained. After that moment, the sun will stop moving southward and will begin its trek northward in the sky - hence the name "solstice", which means "sun stands still" in Latin, according to NASA.

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

The Geminid meteor shower occurs each December.

The American Meteor Society says the Ursids should be visible in the mid-Northern Hemisphere.

Experts reckon the best time to see the shooting stars will be in the early hours of Saturday morning, when it's darkest.

The Google Doodle features am animated figure ice skating.

In Ireland, people gather days before the solstice at Newgrange - a massive gravesite that's more than 5,000 years old.

Winter Solstice in China is referred to as the Dongzhi Festival.

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