From March to May you can see the Spring Triangle in northern skies. In summer the Summer Triangle is most prominent, but may be seen all year round in most of the northern hemisphere. There is also a Winter Triangle. But grandest of all is the Winter Hexagon.
Welcome to the Galactic Winter Games, a starry tribute to Earth's Winter Olympic Games. It's a tour of some really cool cosmic sights – as well as some hot ones, such as one of the biggest explosions in the Universe.
Christmas is a special day with a magic of its own. A Christmas eclipse is a great treat, and centuries ago a long-awaited comet finally showed up on Christmas day. On the other hand, imagine spending the holidays a quarter of a million miles from home, as the crew of Apollo 8 did.
If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, the cosmos may have something of interest. How about deep snow on one of Saturn's moons, a gigantic Christmas tree whose lights are baby stars, a snowman on an asteroid, or an Einstein ring?
For six months, each day has been shorter than the last, the Sun lower in the sky. Will it disappear altogether and leave the people bereft in the dark cold winter? The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and is associated with more festivals than any other astronomical event.
It looks like we've been saved at the last minute! Daylight is returning, gaining ground second by second ... I think we had nearly a full minute more of light today here in Alaska than on the Solstice! Yay!
DebFrost, you're better off than you think. If you're in the [maybe not so sunny] south of Alaska, you should have at least four and a half minutes more daylight than at the solstice! That's for about the latitude of Anchorage. Further north, the daylight in Fairbanks has been extended by about seven and a half minutes since the solstice, and in Fort Yukon a whopping 13 minutes.
If you want to have a look at your own location, fill it - or something nearby - in on this timeanddate page
Imagine midnight on December 31 – fireworks, friendship and celebration greet a new year. But only if you follow the Gregorian calendar. In the past, a year often didn't start on January 1, and for nearly two billion people it still doesn't. So when does a new year begin?
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