Photos illuminate the longest night of the year

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Google Marks Winter Solstice, Shortest Day Of The Year With A Doodle

On this day, the North Pole angles farthest away from the sun, the Google blog explained.

Although some people think that the whole day is the solstice, there is actually a specific time in the day when the solstice occurs.

That phenomenon is caused by Earth's axial tilt of about 23.5 degrees. Eastern Time while the winter solstice will happen December 21, but to the average eye, the moon will appear full for several days.

The moon will help enliven the long night, and, as the US National Weather Service points out, we can now look forward to daylight increasing for the next six months.

After the solstice there is an expected full moon and meteor shower.

While 21 December marks the winter solstice for the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere marks the same day in the year as its summer solstice, and sees its longest day and shortest night. The next solstice taking place on December 20 will not occur until 2080, and the next December 23 solstice will not happen until 2303.

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It appears that the main road into Pandeglang has been badly damaged, making it hard for rescuers to reach the area, she added. At least 20 people have been killed by a tsunami that hit beaches in Indonesia after the Krakatoa volcano erupted .

Today, that means the Southern Hemisphere is pointing toward the sun and catching more rays.

The full moon - dubbed the Cold Moon - happens at 10:49 a.m. Saturday, but it will appear to be full for several days, including on the day of the solstice. Other names for this day include Yule, Midwinter and The Longest Night.

In Native American cultures which tracked the calendar by the moons, December's Full Moon was known as the Full Cold Moon, as it marked the time when winter begins its cold grip.

However, when you're looking out into a clear sky on Friday night, the moon will appear full to you - and could be so bright that people with pretty good eyesight could read by it. But because of the full moon, it might be hard to spot the meteors.

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

In Maine, much smaller winter solstice celebrations take place around the state, such as Harpswell Heritage Land Trust's Winter Solstice Lantern Walk, the Maine Audubon Winter Solstice Celebration with Spirit Passages at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, and the Belfast Unitarian Universalist Church Winter Solstice event.

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