Winter Solistice 2018: Google Doodle celebrates the shortest day of the year

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Winter solstice comes and goes every year, marking the rhythmic tilt of Earth both toward and away from the Sun.

Although the solstice gets an entire day of recognition, it happens in an instant: at 5:23 p.m. EST (10:23 p.m. GMT), when the North Pole is at its farthest tilt of 23.5 degrees away from the sun.

How is the Winter Solstice observed throughout the world? This is the shortest day of the year, too - but with the moon this full, we've got plenty of reason to stay out howling.

Winter Solstice in China is referred to as the "Dongzhi festival, ', a celebration of winter's arrival".

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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. According to Space.com, the last time a full moon coincided with the solstice was in 2010, and it is not expected to happen again until 2094. When the sun sets on the shortest day of the year, the sun's rays align with Stonehenge's central Altar stone and Slaughter stone, which may have had spiritual significance to the people who built the monument, Live Science reported in 2013.

The solstice is observed as a particular point in time, when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn.

So what's going on with this full moon?

Few things are as magical as the heavens full of shooting stars, and December gives us that gift in the form of the Ursid meteor shower. So it's not a once-in-a-lifetime event, but still, you don't see this too often. Nevertheless, experts can't agree on whether this month's full moon should also be considered a supermoon.

A meteor shower will be visible if the skies are clear.

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