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What is Winter Solstice?

Hint: It's the same day as the so-called Mayan apocalypse -- the end of the world -- is supposed to hit. Here are some things you can do to celebrate the winter solstice and the unending of the world.

If you listen to NASA, there's no need to worry: the Mayan Apocalypse isn't going to happen today as kind of scheduled.

Like clockwork, though, the winter solstice has arrived, Dec. 21 and 22, that is, when the sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon.

Broken down, that's the time the Earth's North Pole is tipped farthest from the sun.

Broken down even more: It's the shortest day of the year.

As this calculator on sunrise and sunset shows, daylight in eastern Pennsylvania today shrinks to nine hours, 16 minutes and two seconds.

Sunrise is at 7:22 a.m. and sunset at 4:38 p.m.

PennState December 21, 2012 at 04:43 PM
It's also the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. Let's get some global diversity into our thinking.

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