Winter solstice is here, with a special moon treat

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. There's a bit of a special winter solstice event up on Google, and a very rare moon event to look forward to as well. Our rotation axis may remain 23.5-degrees away from the sun, but we'll have a very special moon to keep us company this weekend!

This weekend – for a period of a few hours on Saturday – we'll see what's known as the Full Cold Moon. This is the Full Moon and the Winter Solstice happening in very, very close proximity. The moon won't be a different color, and it won't be blotted out, or oblong, or doubled or anything in the science fiction spectrum. Instead, it'll be very, very full – and very bright, too.

GOOD IDEA: You should avoid breathing moon dust

During this longest night – just one day off, as it were – we're rolling with the brightest moon. This is the shortest day of the year, too – but with the moon this full, we've got plenty of reason to stay out howling. Not that it's warm enough to do so up here in the midwest USA, but still! It's nice to know we could.

If we track the full moon cycle and the winter solstice for the next several years, we see we won't have the two events in such close proximity for over a decade. So, you know, go out there and check it out.

The Google Doodle today takes a peek at both the Winter Solstice and the Summer Solstice, both posted at once, seen depending on the hemisphere of our planet in which you reside. While we're in the area, if we take a peek at the Google Doodle board we see that we're within a day of the birthdays of Hanif Mohammad (cricket player) and community organizer and activist Connie Mark.