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Winter Solstice livestream as it happens from Newgrange

Winter Solstice livestream as it happens from Newgrange

The good news for sunlight seeking Northern Hemisphere natives is that the days start getting longer beginning Friday - and they can start counting down to spring. That's the home of the account's creator, web developer and npm CTO Laurie Voss.

YESTERDAY marked the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.

Today's Winter Solstice 2017 Google doodle brings back the animated mouse that has made an appearance on Google's homepage for each of the equinox and now both solstice dates.




Even though winter is the coldest time of the year for the Northern Hemisphere, the Earth is actually the closest to the sun, according to NOAA. Precisely how short that is varies with how far north or south you are-around the solstice, the sun never truly rises at the north pole. The most well known is the celebration at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.

That means that December 21 will be the shortest day of the year, with the least amount of hours of sunlight. Next year, the moment of the solstice will be about 6 hours later at 5:23 p.m. ET.

Interestingly, the Western winter solstice is also observed in Iran, where families gather on "Yalda night" to eat nuts, pomegranates and watermelons and read poetry together in honour of the longest night. "The extra 30 seconds of a solar day makes true solar noon - and sunrise and sunset - about 30 seconds later each day". It's an old proverb that certainly has some scientific truth. Oceans and bodies of water - which take longer than land to heat up and cool down - keep temperatures from rising very fast. At the same time, the planet is traveling on a yearly stroll around the sun. That's definitely something to celebrate!

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