Solstice, Full Moon, Meteor Shower on Friday, Saturday


DES MOINES, Iowa - The winter solstice offers a unique display beginning tonight - a full moon and a meteor shower, and both well before Christmas Day. 

Today marks the shortest day of the year and the official start of winter - just nine hours and 27 minutes of daylight today. 

A full moon happens on Saturday night. The last time a full moon coincided with the winter solstice was in 2010, but the next time will be in 2094. 

The full moon -- dubbed the Cold Moon -- happens at 10:49 a.m. Saturday, but it will appear to be full for several days, including on the day of the solstice.

The Ursid meteor shower should be visible beginning tonight, although the moon might make shooting stars more difficult to see.

The American Meteor Society thinks 11 sporadic meteors per hour should be visible just before dawn.

The shower gets its name because meteors appear to emanate from Ursa Minor, also known as the Little Dipper. But because of the full moon, it might be hard to spot the meteors.

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