Celebrate Winter Solstice and Discover the Christmas Tree Star Cluster in Vestal
If you stop to think about it, we truly have been lucky with the weather so far this month. Outside of a few flurries and cold days, the weather has been decently mild. Not great news for those wishing for a white Christmas, but there's still time, it could happen!
The winter season officially begins on Tuesday, December 21. Some refer to the start of the winter season as the winter solstice and rightfully so because the first day of winter is actually dependent on the winter solstice.
Winter solstice occurs when one of either of Earth's poles reaches its maximum tilt away from the Sun. During the winter solstice, we are given the least sunlight of all of the days in the entire year and since we have the least sunlight on this day, it means we have the longest night.
The great thing about winter solstice though is that the nights don't start getting longer as the colder winter months usher in. It's the opposite, actually. Following the winter solstice, the days begin to become longer once again, a sign that warmer days aren't too awfully far away.
Kopernik is celebrating the winter solstice with a family-friendly event this Saturday, December 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. You and your family are invited to dress in the most festive outfit that you can dream up and then take a journey through the science center.
Educators will be on hand to help educate and answer any questions you or your children might have. There will also be themed activities and demonstrations.
If your child(ren) are really into science, you'll want to make sure to take them to the planetarium where they will be able to observe the night sky at the North Pole and at Christmas Island. And, as long as the sky is clear, they might even be able to see the Full Moon or the Christmas Tree Star Cluster.
While not a requirement, Kopernik invites you to bring a non-perishable food donation for CHOW, and in return, they will give you a free pass to return to Kopernik on a different night.
Admission is free for Kopernik and ASTC members. Admission rates apply for all others. Holiday Horizons will be open from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 18.
Maybe after you visit Kopernik you'd like to check out a drive-through lights display. Tall Pines isn't too far away from the Observatory!