The Winter Solstice Arrives Today; Here's What That Means

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The Winter Solstice! This is the point at which the sun reaches the Tropic of Capricorn which is 23.5° south latitude.

Elsewhere, a number of people opted to celebrate the shortest day of the year with a swim in the waters at Helen's Bay, Northern Ireland.

In Somerset, hundreds gathered at Glastonbury Tor to mark the winter solstice - which will this evening also see the longest night of the year.

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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. Newgrange is believed to have been built during the Neolithic period, around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. That means our lunar neighbor should be plenty bright enough all weekend to light up your solstice celebrations.

For those in the North of the Arctic Circle towards the North Pole, 21 December and the winter solstice marks results in a polar night as there will be no daylight on this day.

What is the winter solstice? That's when the northern hemisphere is at its maximum tilt away from the sun. It's what many consider the first day of winter.

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Friday, Dec. 21 marks the solstice, but Saturday, Dec. 22 will gift us with a full moon known as the Full Cold Moon thanks to its wintry timing.

The two events don't perfectly line up at the same time, though.

The full moon will actually occur on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 12:49 p.m., according to, but it will appear full both Friday night and Saturday night to the casual stargazer.

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The day of the winter solstice features the least amount of possible daylight hours and the longest night in the Northern Hemisphere.