Today is the shortest day of the year

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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".

But this year's winter solstice is a bit different - as there will also be a full moon and a meteor shower on Friday night. Rather, northern midlatitudes will experience the winter chill partly, because they'll get about 9 hours of daylight in the weeks following the solstice, compared with the roughly 15 hours of daily sunlight they get around the summer solstice, Live Science reported in 2012.

The Winter solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of 2018.

In Perth, the solstice is set to occur at 6.23am, about an hour after sunrise, and at 12.14pm the Sun will be at its highest point in 12 months.

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The winter solstice - when the Earth's titled axis is facing its farthest from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere - happens at 3:23 p.m. today (Dec. 21) and marks the start of winter. In addition, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, making it colder.

Yes, today is the "shortest" day of the year - or a least, it has the least daylight.

This weekend - for a period of a few hours on Saturday - we'll see what's known as the Full Cold Moon.

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.

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However, when you're looking out into a clear sky on Friday night, the moon will appear full to you - and could be so bright that people with pretty good eyesight could read by it. That won't happen again until 2094, Fox News reports.

After she is full on the 22nd, the waning moon will diminish on her way to the last quarter moon of the year, which will occur on December 29 at 4:34 am EST.

"The Earth's orbit also isn't perfectly circular and the summer solstice falls within two weeks of our closest approach to the Sun".

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