Today's winter solstice will feature full moon and meteor shower


The first day of winter, Friday, Dec. 21, will not be your typical winter solstice.

2018's winter solstice is bringing a full moon and possible meteor shower with it!

The two events don't perfectly line up at the same time, though. The full moon will happen Dec. 22 around 12:49 p.m. Eastern Time while the winter solstice will happen Dec. 21, but to the average eye, the moon will appear full for several days. 

What's the winter solstice?

The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, which is located at 23.5° south of the equator and runs through Australia, Chile, southern Brazil, and northern South Africa.

Full moon on Friday night

A full moon will occur Dec. 22, bringing a bright light to the start of winter. The Long Night Moon is named after the longest night of the year on the winter solstice.

Meteor shower

The Ursids meteor shower should be visible in the mid-Northern Hemisphere, according to the American Meteor Society. 

"This area of the sky is circumpolar for most of the northern hemisphere and lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky just before dawn on Dec. 22."

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