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We Won't Have a Winter Solstice Like This Till 2029

And the last time we did was 2010
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2018 11:10 AM CST
The full cold moon.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Today might feel like a long day, with America waiting to see if a shutdown comes to pass at midnight. But scientifically speaking, it's the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. That's because it's winter solstice, a day on which most of the US clocks fewer than 10 hours of daylight, reports the Washington Post. (Pity Fairbanks, Alaska, which will log just 3 hours and 42 minutes.) But as far as solstices go, this one will be a little more special than most. That's because the final full moon of the year—known as the Cold Moon, or Full Cold Moon—comes on Saturday, technically at 12:49pm.

CNN reports that timing means the moon will appear full tonight, so much so that "people with pretty good eyesight could read by it." The last time the solstice and Cold Moon were less than 24 hours apart was 2010, reports Quartz, and it won't happen again until 2029. That brightness could make it somewhat tricky to see the best night of the annual Ursids meteor shower, Saturday, where viewers have a chance of seeing up to 10 meteors per hour, reports CNN. (Read more solstice stories.)

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