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Shortest day, longest night of the year is here

Shortest day, longest night of the year is here

Friday will also be the day with the least amount of daylight, at 9 hours, 21 minutes in Denver.

It will officially begin at 5:23 p.m.in NY this year.

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. Friday and marks the start of winter.

But in the United Kingdom (and rest of the northern hemisphere) it means the sun rising earlier and setting later as we journey again towards the spring equinox.

The English Heritage celebrates the winter solstice at Stonehenge on the meteorologically accurate date which will this year fall on December 22.

This year's Winter Solstice will coincide with a Full Cold Moon - the full moon of December, according to Space.com. This is a minor meteor shower, so people should only expect to see a few shooting stars per hour. At the peak there should be about 11 sporadic meteors per hour just before dawn.

The date and time of Winter Solstice, featured in a special Google Doodle Friday, vary by the year, though it typically falls between December 19 and 22.

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The Ursids meteor shower will be visible tonight.

There are countless cultures that have recognized the winter solstice.

A solstice is when the sun either reaches the highest or lowest point in the sky depending on where you are in the world.

People around the globe have celebrated this astronomical milestone for centuries. The Sun seems to stand still in the winter sky, marking the shortest day and longest night of the year.

In Ireland, people gather at Newgrange, a massive 5,000 years old gravesite, to witness the sunrise lighting up the ancient tomb.

The festive food is said to bring prosperity and unity among families.


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