The sun will soon be setting on the west coast of North America, which means that the shortest day of the year will have come to an end. Today was the winter solstice, the day in which the Northern Hemisphere experiences the least amount of daylight between sunrise and sunset.
Usually the solstice falls on December 21, but for the last two years it has fallen on December 22 - a result of the fact that the solar year of 365.2422 days does not correspond exactly to our 365-day calendar.
The solstice is a major pagan celebration, one that pre-dated Christmas in Europe, and today marked the traditional gathering of druids and pagan celebrants at Stonehenge in Southern England. Arch-druid Rollo Maughfling declared the morning's sunrise to be a "good omen" for 2012.
Here are some Reuters images from today's Stonehenge gathering: