Winter may not be the most favorite time of the year of some people but it does bring a certain feeling that can be associated with nostalgia, drinking a cup of hot cider, and gathering around the fireplace. Well, at least for people who have experienced any of that. Google Doodle is celebrating December 21 with a tribute to Winter Solstice, signaling the start of winter, as well as the pretty rare Great Conjunction which will see Jupiter and Saturn “overlap”.
Winter Solstice is supposed to be the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It’s probably also apt that this is the day of the Great Junction when Jupiter and Saturn will cross within .1 degrees of each other and even if that seems close, their actual distance is still 450 million miles apart. This is supposedly a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence and the last time this happened was almost 800 years ago and so this is something that astronomy enthusiasts are looking forward to.
To celebrate this, a cute Google Doodle is available now on, well, Google. You’ll see Jupiter is one of the Os in the word Google. Saturn does a quick drive-by, raises his hat/rings, becomes the second O temporarily and gives Jupiter a high-five. Earth does a little jump of joy and we see how small our planet really is as compared to the other two “giants”. The Winter Solstice part is the snow that is decorating the other letters of Google.
Even if you didn’t know anything The Great Conjunction or Winter Solstice, if you’re the curious kind, you’ll tap on the doodle to see what it’s all about. Just like previous doodles, you’ll get more information about why that is the doodle for the day. It’s always interesting to see what Google Doodles are about, especially for the sometimes localized versions. We’ve learned quite a few new things about the world through this.
Google also gave some other information about The Great Conjunction in case it’s your first time to hear about it. You probably would not be able to wait another 800 years to see this phenomenon so look up at the sky tonight and try to see the two planets. There will probably be no high-fiving planets there though.