The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, is officially tomorrow and, although the beginning of the colder season sends us directly into panic mode, we are excited at the thought that, in a way, warm (and longer) days are ahead. So, happy countdown to summer!
Occurring when the sun shines at its most southern point (this year, that will happen at 5:44am EST) and when the north pole is tilted furthest away from the sun (23.5 degrees), the winter solstice literally means "sun stands still."
"It happens at the same moment no matter where you live," explains National Geographic. "But because we've divided Earth into 24 times zones, people around the world will observe it at 24 different times of day."
Although the event isn't as visually striking as a super moon or a meteor shower, the effects of it can somehow be noted during the day. Check out your noontime shadow, for example, which will be the longest it will be all year long.