The Festive Science Behind The Winter Solstice

Dec 10, 2013

From Christmas to "Festivus," what makes this time of year the holiday season?

There were smiles and laughs across the state yesterday following the announcement that a nearly six-foot Festivus pole made from empty beer cans will be put up in the Florida State Capitol.

The full moon of the 2010 winter solstice over Des Moines, Iowa, Dec. 21, 2010.
Credit Phil Roeder / Flickr

it’s a not-so-subtle protest to the recent placement of a Christmas nativity scene in the first-floor rotunda.

Festivus of course is the classic holiday created on the sitcom Seinfeld. All the talk about Festivus got us to wondering about this time of year, and the origins of our celebrations, the winter solstice.

Jacksonville Museum of Science & History Planetarium director Tom Webber joined Melissa Ross to discuss what the solstice is, how it affects seasons and  how it impacts the way we celebrate Christmas on our weekly Tech Tuesday segment.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.