Tag archives for Solstice
Winter officially begins late tonight and this winter solstice will be a rare event. Not only will there be a full moon, but there will also be a total lunar eclipse starting after 1:30 a.m. ET, 10:30 p.m. PT.
What is a lunar eclipse? It is when the sun, the Earth, and the moon are all in line with each other, with the Earth in the middle. The Earth’s shadow is cast onto the moon, making it appear dim. Lunar eclipses happen twice a year (the last one was in June), so they aren’t especially rare. What is rare is for the solstice, a full moon, and a lunar eclipse to all happen at the same time. The last time that happened was 372 years ago in the year 1638!
Learn how to see tonight’s winter solstice and lunar eclipse on National Geographic News.
Think you’ve got your moon facts straight? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
Photograph by Tunc Tezel, TWAN
Yesterday was the summer solstice, which means that summer has officially started! The summer solstice marks the point where there is the most daylight in a 24-hour period in the northern hemisphere (above the Equator). The winter solstice, which will fall on December 21, marks the day when there is the least daylight. In the southern hemisphere, it’s switched–the summer solstice is the shortest day of the year, and the winter solstice is the longest.
The first day of summer may get more daylight than any other day of the year, but that doesn’t mean it is the hottest. Astronomer Robert Howell from the Universtiy of Wyoming compares the solstice to turning on an oven. “If you think about turning up an oven–it takes it a long time to heat up, and after you turn it off, it takes a while for it to cool down. It’s the same with the Earth.”
Learn more about the summer solstice on National Geographic News.
Looking for ways to have fun this summer? Try our Boredom Busters!