March 7, 2021

The Final Ursids Meteor Shower of This Decade Will Coincide With Winter Solstice This Weekend

Today is a particularly magical Winter Solstice, not only bringing the longest night of the year to our Northern Hemisphere, and marking the start of more daylight, but also a major celestial event.

In an exceptionally rare conjunction, Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer to one another than they’ve been in 800 years — visibly separated by just 0.1 degrees.

Named the ‘Christmas Star’, the nearness of these gas giants will create a shining point of light — even though the two planets are actually millions of miles apart.

The closer you are to the equator, the better the view, and the best time is between dusk and just after nightfall, looking low on the western horizon. With a telescope, several of the planets’ largest moons will also be visible, with the celestial conjunction lasting for the entire week surrounding today’s Winter solstice.

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Mayflower Pilgrims went ashore at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts (1620)
  • The first crossword puzzle, by Arthur Wynne was published in the New York World (1913)
  • The Irish Free State of Eire declared independence (1948)
  • Rondane National Park was established – Norway’s first – as an important habitat for herds of wild reindeer (1962)
  • The birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States was proclaimed by eleven of the 12 former Soviet republics (1991)
  • Two French reporters held hostage for 4 months in Iraq were released (2004)

Happy Birthday to Jane fonda who turns 83 years old, yet is still fabulously-fit. A brilliant 2-time Oscar winning actress and daughter of acclaimed actor Henry Fonda, Jane changed the face of fitness for women in America by introducing her Jane Fonda’s Workout on home videotape and turning-on millions to exercising in their living rooms.

Fonda on Netflix’s acclaimed series, Grace and Frankie

When she reached 80, she threw a party for charity, raising $ 1.3 million for her Georgia-based nonprofit that focuses on preventing teen pregnancy. Since she founded the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential, teen pregnancy has fallen 66% in 22 years. She was thrilled to have reached 80, and to also still be working – co-starring with Lily Tomlin in the popular Netflix comedy Grace and frankie and making a movie with Robert Redford. Her book, Prime Time, written when she was 75, describes how we can strive to live well in our ‘Third Act’, making the most of our senior years. (1937)

Photo by CelebrityABC, CC license

And, Happy 72nd Birthday to actor – producer Samuel L. Jackson. After working as a doorman, overcoming a stutter, and studying with Morgan Freeman, he became famous for his role in the 1994 cult classic Pulp fiction and memorable roles in dozens of films like Goodfellas, The Negotiator, Kingsman, Jurassic park, and Django Unchained. In 2009, Jackson signed a 9-picture deal with Marvel to play Nick fury in The Avengers franchise. And, as a civil rights activist, he was one of the ushers at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral. WATCH him talk about his career… (1948)

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