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Tonight's Winter Solstice Will Be A Once-In-A-Lifetime Event

Flickr - Dan Meineck / Panda~thwiki from Wikimedia Commons

As we make our way through December, we've all gotten used to the short days and the long nights. December 21st is the shortest day of the year, and while it's a moment to celebrate, this year is going to be different.

Sure, the days will start to get a little longer, allowing us some sunlight after work, but there's something special happening this year that's absolutely worth checking the skies for tonight.

It's actually not just one thing that's going to happen either, there are two special events happening this winter solstice that make 2018 a year to remember.

Not only will it be the longest night of the year, but NASA has pointed out that it will be followed by a special full moon known as a "Cold Moon" as well as a meteor shower!

It has been eight years since the last cold moon and it'll be eleven years before it happens again. What exactly is a cold moon? Well, it's the name for a full moon appearing in the coldest part of the year. The name dates back generations as a way to help track the seasons.

Technically the full cold moon will be visible starting on the 22nd, but it'll still be impressive for the longest night of the year as it nears its apex.

But having the full moon fall on the winter solstice isn't the only exciting thing happening, there will also be a meteor shower. These three events won't happen at the same time again until 2094!

The Ursid meteor shower is believed to come from the Ursa Minor constellation (AKA the Little Dipper). This celestial event will allow you to see up to 10 "shooting stars" each hour depending on where you live. That's a lot of wishes you can make!

The only tricky part is that the bright light of the cold moon may hinder your chances at seeing the meteors, but it's absolutely worth a shot anyways.

The winter solstice will come and go, and days will start to get longer again as we make our way through the rest of the winter, but at least these cold months have this beautiful gift that we'll all get to witness tonight.

Source - CNN / Forbes

Will you be checking out the skies tonight?