The December solstice happened about twelve minutes ago as I compose this post (2010-12-21 23:38 Universal Time). NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, as per usual, has the solstice goodies:
1. This photo by Danilo Pivato of the sun’s progression through the sky over the Italian coast on the December Solstice of 2005.
2. This digital representation of a ‘blood moon’ during a total lunar eclipse as was witnessed in northern latitudes last night.
Today also marks the end of Saturnalia, the ancient Roman festival of topsy-turviness regarding the social order. Saturnalia is also is the festival that began the tradition of bringing an evergreen bough into the household as the solstice approached, which heritage is still being played out by everybody who puts up a “Christmas Tree”. Io Saturnalia to you all!