The winter solstice is fast approaching. This is when the northern hemisphere of Earth, which is tilted on its axis, leans the furthest away from the sun as the planet continues on its orbital path around the sun. This tilt away from the sun makes the days shorter in the northern hemisphere and longer in the southern hemisphere, which is tilted towards the sun this time of year. The tilt is also responsible for seasons. Longer days and more direct sunlight bring on the warmer temperatures of summer. While the northern hemisphere enters into winter, the southern hemisphere enjoys summer. This year the solstice occurs at 4:12 AM (Arizona time) on Friday, December 21st.
This year a popular Internet rumor predicts the end of the world. There are different versions of the rumor including an end to the Mayan calendar and a fictional planet hitting Earth and destroying it. These are simply rumors that are quickly debunked by scientists at NASA.
On Wednesday NASA will host a live social media discussion about the rumors. The panel of experts includes:
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