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Winter Solstice

December 21, 2009
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December 21 – The Winter Solstice occurs in the northern hemisphere at 17:47 UT. The Sun is at its lowest point in the sky and it will be the shortest day of the year. This is also the first day of winter; there are 105 days left till Opening Day of the 2010 baseball season.

The sky was overcast last night – apparently there’s some sort of storm rolling in. Not that there is much to see; my balcony faces south in an area of town where big tall condos have been popping up lately. The only bright object in the south is Fomalhaut, which sets early; so do the Moon and Jupiter in the southwest. The east gets interesting later at night, as Mars, Sirius and Betelgeuse all rise and might be visible when the skies clear up.

The moon is a waxing crescent that is 20% full – it will be full again on New Year’s Eve.

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