10 Stories

Summer Gets Rare Welcome: Strawberry Moon

A couple of cosmic events collide for the first time in a half-century

(Newser) - On Monday, everyone in the Northern Hemisphere can finally say "Welcome, summer!"—and also lift their eyes up to witness a different cosmic phenomenon that only happens in tandem with the summer solstice every half-century or so, ScienceAlert notes. The strawberry moon, a full moon in June... More »

Why Last Night Wasn't Earth's Longest

It probably happened in 1912, thanks to tidal acceleration

(Newser) - The winter solstice officially occurred at 6:04pm EST yesterday, marking the first day of winter and the longest night of the year. But all "longest nights" aren't created equal, and the longest night in Earth's history likely happened in 1912. Here's why: The Earth's... More »

In California, Devoted Await Solstice 'Illumination'

Dazzling light planned by priests for sun-worshipping Indians: Expert

(Newser) - Let there be light. Just after dawn on the winter solstice, a 200-year-old California mission is bathed in such a dazzling blaze of sunlight that the altar appears to burst into flames. It's an annual "illumination" that draws the devoted, presenting what some observers consider awesome "special... More »

Pagans, Hippies Celebrate Solstice at Stonehenge

Thousands gather to witness traditional ceremonies

(Newser) - More than 18,000 people gathered at Stonehenge to celebrate summer solstice, witnessing sunrise on the longest day of the year. The Telegraph ’s article on the event is full of fun little tidbits: The revelers are described as “an eclectic mix of sun worshippers, hippies, and pagans,... More »

NYC Awestruck by 'Manhattan-henge'

Setting sun sets east-west streets aglow twice a year

(Newser) - Centuries from now historians will speculate about the ruins of a once-great city whose buildings lined up perfectly for a semi-annual celestial occurrence. But for now, New Yorkers merely stand, agog for once, awestruck by "Manhattan-henge." It's the twice-annual happening when skyscrapers are lined up just right... More »

Scenes From Last Night's Eclipse

Mark your calendars for the next one ... in 2094

(Newser) - Those of you who hit the hay early last night missed a show not to be seen on the winter solstice for another 84 years: The moon, hanging high in the sky, turned reddish and went dark for 72 minutes as the Earth eclipsed it, reports the AP. Click through... More »

What to Know for Tonight's Lunar Eclipse/Winter Solstice

Here are a few tips for your once-in-372-years event

(Newser) - It's getting close to showtime, kids: The longest night of the year has begun (at least here on the East Coast), so bring on the first total lunar eclipse to coincide with the winter solstice since 1638 (NASA has apparently engaged in a bit of history-revision). Here's what you need... More »

Christmas Caroling: Quaint Tradition Begun By Drunks

Also, Santa? Didn't start out being so jolly

(Newser) - Cheerful church groups love Christmas caroling, but the tradition was actually started by a bunch of lushes. Back when "Christmas" was actually a celebration of the winter solstice, poor carolers would go from house to house singing ... and also threatening to break windows if they were not plied with... More »

Christian Group Boycotts Gap Over Holiday Ads

Not enough Christ in Gap's Christmas: AFA

(Newser) - A Christian group has launched a boycott of the Gap over its religion-neutral holiday ads. The American Family Association, already ticked off by last year’s campaign, which wished consumers a “Merry Gap-mas,” hit the roof over this year's “Go Christmas, Go Hanukkah, Go Kwanzaa, Go Solstice.... More »

Solstice Shines at Stonehenge

Thousands gather to welcome longest day of the year

(Newser) - Spiritually inclined crowds converged on Stonehenge this morning to celebrate the summer solstice, greeting the dawn of the longest day of the year with dancing, drumming, and drinking. The mystical monument shone with floodlights and the glow of the rising sun as more than 20,000 druids, pagans, and other... More »

10 Stories