How to Watch Winter Solstice 2021 From Stonehenge Live Online

The winters solstice is almost upon us—and this year, you can watch the sun rising above the famous Stonehenge archeological site in England to mark the event.

Stonehenge is a Late Neolithic stone monument—located in Wiltshire in the southwest of the country—that was constructed around 4,500 years, likely by farmers and herders.

People have been celebrating solstices at the famous prehistoric site in southwestern England for thousands of years and these celebrations continue to this day—barring disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, modern-day pagans still consider such traditions spiritually important.

Like in 2020, English Heritage—the charity that manages the monument—will be hosting a livestream to mark the Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice in 2021.

When people talk about the winter solstice they are often referring to an entire day. But technically this astronomical event occurs at a specific moment in time—the point in the year when the Earth's North Pole is pointing farthest away from the sun.

In 2021 the winter solstice will occur at 10:58 a.m. ET on Tuesday, December 21, or 7:58 a.m. PT.

The solstice marks the shortest day of the year and the beginning of astronomical winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The day on which the December solstice occurs in the Northern Hemisphere has the fewest daylight hours and the longest night.

English Heritage will actually be livestreaming the sunrise on the morning of December 22. This is because the sunrise immediately after the winter solstice—when the days start to become longer—is the moment that is traditionally marked at Stonehenge.

To watch the sunrise visit the official Stonehenge or English Heritage Facebook page, or the English Heritage YouTube or Instagram channels.

Sunrise in the U.K. will occur at around 8:09 a.m. local time on December 22, which is equivalent to 3:09 a.m. ET or 12:09 a.m. PT. Coverage will begin about 45 minutes before sunrise and will continue for the same amount of time afterwards.

You don't need to be in the U.K. to watch the coverage, which is free—although you can make a donation to English Heritage if you would like to support the charity's work.

If you don't manage to catch the event live, English Heritage will be saving the video on its Facebook page so it can be watched another time.

According to English Heritage archeologist Susan Greaney, the stones at the monument are laid out in such a way that they frame the sunrise at midsummer and the sunset at midwinter.

"Wherever you are in the world, you won't miss a moment of this special occasion," English Heritage said in a statement. "Our cameras will capture the best views of Stonehenge set to a relaxing soundtrack, allowing you to connect with this spiritual place from the comfort of your own home."

The sun rises over Stonehenge
The sun rises over Stonehenge as people take part in a winter solstice ceremony on December 22, 2018 in Wiltshire, England. Matt Cardy/Getty Images