The Winter Solstice will offer plenty to do around Juneau, and for skywatchers there will be a full moon and meteor shower. (Unsplash | Luke Palmer)

The Winter Solstice will offer plenty to do around Juneau, and for skywatchers there will be a full moon and meteor shower. (Unsplash | Luke Palmer)

Winter solstice to coincide with full moon, meteor shower

You won’t see a sky like this again until 2094.

  • By Ben Hohenstatt Juneau Empire
  • Thursday, December 20, 2018 10:01pm
  • NewsEvents

Friday will be the longest night of the year, but there could be a heck of a show if the clouds allow it.

The winter solstice will be accompanied by a full moon, which has not happened since 2010, and will not happen again until 2094, according to Space.com.

Sunset on Friday in Juneau is expected to be 3:07 p.m., and sunrise Saturday is expected to be 8:45 a.m. During those almost 19 hours of darkness, the Ursid meteor shower’s activity is expected to peak Dec. 21 and Dec. 22. Activity will be near the Little Dipper, or Ursa Minor, which lends the shower its name. The shower will continue until around Christmas Day. The meteors will be visible without special equipment, but the moon may make the meteor activity more difficult to see.

“There’s also a comet that’s visible, so there’s four things,” said Steve Kocsis, Marie Drake Planetarium volunteer. “It’s cataloged as 47P. It’s kind of naked-eye fixed magnitude near Taurus.”

[Flapping around in a super full moon]

For any of those phenomena to be visible, the night sky will need to be clear, and the weather in Juneau isn’t expected to cooperate.

“We are in a pretty active pattern unfortunately, and that tends to give us a more cloud cover,” said Jake Byrd, general forecaster for the National Weather Service. “Right now, it looks like it probably won’t be all that favorable.”

He said there may be breaks in the clouds that would make the night sky visible, but they’ll be few and far between.

“You might get a silhouette of the moon through the cloud cover,” Byrd said.

However, there will be plenty of celebratory events inside around Juneau for the solstice, too.

Here’s a rundown of some things to do Friday and Saturday.

[Photos: Northern Lights]

Friday, Dec. 21

Solstice night skiing and spaghetti dinner, 3-8 p.m., Eaglecrest Ski Area. Lights will be turned on at 3 p.m., and the Porcupine Chairlift will run until 8 p.m. Lift tickets from earlier in the day will be honored, or they cost $10 for night skiing. There will be $10 rentals and $20 rentals. Call snowsports school for reservations (907)790-2000 ext. 211. The grill will be open and serving a spaghetti dinner that costs $10 for adults and $8 for kids.

Solstice sound bath, 6-7 p.m., The Yoga Path, 5326 Shaune Drive. There will be toning, chanting and a crystal bowl ceremony led by Lindsay Foreman that will focus on the rebirth of the sun. There is a suggested donation of $20.

Christmas Lights Flights, 4:30-7:30 p.m., Juneau International Airport, 1873 Shell Simmons Drive. No reservations are needed, flights are $30 per person. Check-in is at the north wing terminal building. All proceeds are donated to the Children’s Tumor Foundation and Lions Sight Projects.

Saturday, Dec. 22

Solstice dance, 3-4:30 p.m., Rainforest Yoga,174 S. Franklin St. Sacred Dance: Juneau is hosting a solstice dance celebration. there will be some guidance and suggestions for how one may discover new ways of being moved. No dance or movement experience is required. Attendees are welcome to bring any sacred objects that may support intentions.

Viking Takeover Holiday Party, 9 p.m.-close, Viking Lounge, 219 Front St. The part is presented by 4th Coast Outfitters. DJ Manu, Jizzle Fizzle and Manner will provide tunes, and there will be ugly sweater prizes.

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