Winter Solstice, Apollo 8 Programs Set For Friday at Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Programs celebrating the winter solstice and the 50th anniversary of the liftoff of Apollo 8 will be held tomorrow at the Griffith Observatory.

Observatory staff will make presentations about the winter solstice at 11:40 a.m. in the Gottlieb Transit Corridor and at 4:30 p.m. on the West Terrace.

The winter solstice marks the day with the shortest period of daylight when Earth's orbital motion points the South Pole most closely in the direction of the sun. The sun will rise in Los Angeles at 6:54 a.m. Friday and set at 4:47 p.m.

A presentation on Apollo 8 will be made at 7:30 p.m. in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. Apollo 8, which lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on Dec. 21, 1968, was the first manned spacecraft to leave low-Earth orbit, reach the moon, orbit it and safely return.

Apollo 8 is best remembered for the “Earthrise” photograph of Earth and some of the moon's surface taken from lunar orbit by astronaut Bill Anders and the crew of Anders, Jim Lovell and Frank Borman reciting the first 10 verses of the first chapter of the Genesis on Christmas Eve on what was the most watched television broadcast at the time.

All events are free and open to the public. The Apollo 8 presentation will also be streamed live on Griffith Observatory's YouTube channel.

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