Griffith Observatory: Winter Solstice + Apollo 8 Day

Make for the landmark for a talk about the change of season and/or a special presentation marking the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8.

What to Know

  • Friday, Dec. 21
  • Winter solstice talk at local noon and sunset
  • Apollo 8 presentation at 7:30 p.m.

Sharing our own special day with another notable event, one that just happens to coincide with our birthday or anniversary or graduation?

It's not unheard of.

In fact, it's so not unheard of, you've probably experienced it multiple times, over the course of your life. For making way for something else to share your spotlight is part of the larger life experience, due to the finite nature of the annual calendar.

And there just happen to be two things sharing the spotlight at Griffith Observatory on Friday, Dec. 21, two things that might be described as sun-bright, moon-big, and as interesting as astronomy itself.

No pressure there, what with all of the hyperbole we're trucking out, but let us argue our case: Dec. 21 is the winter solstice, a mighty big day for this planet, and, as is tradition, observatory staffers will give informative and free talks on the topic, both at local noon and sunset.

Local noon, on Dec. 21, 2018, will happen at 11:51 a.m., by the by, so just be at the Gottlieb Transit Corridor well ahead of noon-noon, as in the hour on the clock.

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The sunset talk will take place on the observatory's West Terrace.

And at 7:30 that night, in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater? Look for a special presentation devoted to the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8, which "... launched on Dec. 21, 1968... the first to take humans beyond Earth to another world."

Indeed, the famous "Earth Rise" photograph was snapped during this mission, on Dec. 24. Also? "The mission set the stage for the first Moon landing in July, 1969," observes the observatory. 

Major. Beyond. Epic. And all of the super-hyperbolic words, which are well-earned in this case.

The Apollo 8 celebration is also free, do note. And one more bonus: If you can't make it, it will be streamed live.

Do you like some moon with your solstice or some sun with your Apollo 8? Dec. 21 is the day to head up the hill for history, astronomy, community, and deep-sky'd wonder.

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