Five hours ago for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere was the Winter Solstice, this moment in time marks many things.
The shortest day of the year rides in on the coat tails of the longest night, as the Earth continues its annual perambulation around the Sun.
Culturally humanity has focused on this day as one of great importance from times of great antiquity, many cultures have had observances, usually related to rebirth, tied to this astronomical event.
Ancient monuments can be found in about every location where human civilization has been, which are at least in part devoted to the Solstices. One well known example is of course the Neolithic monument of Stonehenge(map) near Amesbury in Britain.
In addition to ancient observances there are many modern ones as well, in many cities there are locations that have been setup to watch the alignment of the Sun at sunrise or sunset on this day of the year. In fact with the spread of people to all corners of the globe now Midwinter is celebrated in Antarctica, marking for those who wintered-over that their stay is now half way through.
So join me in looking forward towards the coming year and all the opportunity it brings us.