SALT LAKE CITY — It’s the shortest day of the year.
I was originally going to end this article with that sentence. But today’s winter solstice is actually rather special, according to CNN.
“The solstice this year will be extra special because it will be followed the next day by a full moon known as the Cold Moon, and you might be able to see a meteor shower to boot,” according to CNN.
A little about winter solstice: The event takes place every year on Dec. 21. The specific day and time of the solstice can differ from that day since it doesn’t line up with the normal calendar, according to CNN.
When: The event official occurs at 22:23 Universal Time, which would be about 5:23 p.m. ET or 3:23 p.m. MT.
Why it happens: “Because the Earth is tilted on its rotational axis, we experience seasons here on Earth. 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,” according to CNN.
Why it matters: According to Earth Sky, the day represents the longest night and shortest day of the year, according to EarthSky.org.
This year’s solstice: The 2018 winter solstice will be rather unique since a full moon occurs the day after. The moon has taken on the names cold moon, cold full moon, long night moon and the moon before yule, CNN reported.1 comment on this story
- There’s also a meteor shower. The annual Ursids meteor shower should hit its peak a day or two after the solstice event. You could possibly see 10 shooting stars every hour, depending on where you’re watching from.
Google Doodle: Today’s Google Doodle celebrated the event as well.
International: According to Google, people in Ireland gather days before the solstice to win a chance to see the sunrise pass through an ancient tomb.
In China, locals call the day Dongzhi Festival and celebrate the arrival of winter, according to Google.