Celebrate the longest night of the year and witness a rare celestial event.
Winter solstice (in the northern hemisphere) marks the moment when the earth's north pole is at its maximum tilt away from the sun, resulting in our longest night and shortest day. Many cultures throughout history have celebrated this occasion, with evidence of some traditions stretching back 12,000 years to the Neolithic and Bronze ages. It signals the turning point, a moment of rebirth for the sun and the gradual and welcome lengthening of daylight hours. That's definitely something to be thankful for after the year we've all endured.
This year there’s an additional celestial event for us to celebrate - the 'Great Conjunction' of Jupiter and Saturn. This rare phenomenon is already visible in the night sky, with the two planets gradually coming closer together as they continue their individual orbits around the sun. On December 21st they will appear closer than they have for 400 years (and the last time this occurred at night was 800 years ago). It's pure coincidence that the culmination of Saturn and Jupiter's convergence occurs on the Winter Solstice, but it's a great opportunity to go out for a walk at night and witness this spectacular sight.
If it's not too cloudy, the alignment of these planets should be visible to the naked eye. You'll need to find an unobstructed view of the south-western sky after 4:30pm. You'll have just under 2 hours each night to catch it, as the planets will disappear below the horizon around 6:20pm. The more you can see of the horizon the longer you'll be able to witness the event, so try to find a location where your view isn't blocked by trees or buildings. The higher the better, recommended London locations would be: Parliament Hill, Primrose Hill, Telegraph Hill, or Alexandra Palace Park.
Walking is a great way to stay active, particularly during London's latest Tier 3 restrictions. Even 30 minutes of brisk walking is beneficial but try to aim for an hour if you can. This year has taken a huge toll on people's mental and physical health, so now more than ever it's important to grasp every opportunity to get out, gaze up at the stars and reflect on our existence in the universe.
We are continually assessing our protocols to ensure your safety and ensure we are up to date with the latest guidelines to be able to treat you in person, but if you prefer an online consultation, we offer Video Call Appointments too.
Call us on 0203 893 5100 or book an appointment online.