LAKANA Today's winter solstice will feature full moon and meteor shower

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First, CNN meteorologists Dave Hennen, Judson Jones and Brandon Miller help us understand the science behind the solstice.

I love that we have names for the full moon - we can't hide our affection for this pearl of a natural satellite, a celestial object that holds a powerful sway over us mere humans.

It's the middle of winter today, and from now on, the days get a little bit longer as we continue our trip around the sun.

When exactly does it occur?

What is the winter solstice?

Although the Northern Hemisphere's names for December's full moon sound chilly and terrible, the Southern Hemisphere, which is about to enter the summer season, has much warmer names for it.

In 1898, the Winter Solstice was more than just the dawn of a new year - it was also the dawn of the atomic age.

That phenomenon is caused by Earth's axial tilt of about 23.5 degrees. In addition, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, making it colder.

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Curiously, across the entire globe the Earth is actually reaching its longest daylight hours of the year.

What other seasonal transitions do we mark?

The longest night. The shortest day.

The solstice happens when Earth's northern hemisphere is tilted farthest away from the sun.

Around the full moon phase, the moon is visible in the sky generally from sunset to sunrise.

The moon will still appear beautifully full enough on the solstice, even it's not as rare as if it were officially full.

In the capital city of Helsinki, the length of the day on 22 December will be measured at 5 hours and 49 minutes, while in northwest Oulu, this falls to 3 hours and 34 minutes. But that means it looks full Friday night and Saturday night. In fact, the last solstice to take place on December 23 was in 1903, and it won't happen again until 2303.

You don't need any special equipment or skills to view a meteor shower. One can usually see between 10 and 100 shooting stars per hour during this event. But because of the full moon, it might be hard to spot the meteors.

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