Finland marks winter solstice, longer days on the horizon

23 December, 2018, 10:25 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Science       Get ready for a special full moon & meteor shower tonight
       	        Sandhya Ramesh         22 December 2018

It will come with a full moon in the sky.

The Weather Network is predicting a longer, colder, winter this year and today will definitely turn more winter-like this afternoon with snow and blowing snow, driven by northerly winds gusting to 50 km/h.

Winter Solstice is an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when the Earth's axial tilt is farthest away from the sun.

Today marks the winter solstice, which brings us the shortest day of the year.

2018 Winter Solstice is particularly special as the upcoming December full moon, named the Cold Moon, will be visible in the night sky along with the Ursid meteor shower. That means our lunar neighbor should be plenty bright enough all weekend to light up your solstice celebrations. According to, the last time a full moon coincided with the solstice was in 2010, and it is not expected to happen again until 2094.

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

National Weather Service USA
National Weather Service USA

Typically around Dec. 21 or 22 - though on rare occasions, it can be as early as Dec. 20 or as late as Dec. 23 - the sun is directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 degrees south latitude).

A full moon will occur December 22, bringing a bright light to the start of winter.

Just like every year, Winter solstice 2018 will also take place on December 21 and the exact timing for the 2018 winter solstice is 22:23 UTC (4:53 pm IST on December 22). The solstice happens at the same moment around the world, though the local time depends on which of the 24 time zones. So it's not a once-in-a-lifetime event, but still, you don't see this too often.

There's also a meteor shower.

Shown above is the orientation of the Earth relative to the sun's most direct rays around the time of the Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice.

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