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One loses all bearings faced with the shroud of white that obscures all things mid January in the Siberian city of Yakustk: it is -48 C (-54 degrees Fahrenheit) outside.

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Europe has been battling a deep freeze that started in late January and has killed hundreds, snow that has trapped thousands in Balkan mountain villages and prompted worries of flooding as heavy snow melts. In Greece and Bulgaria, flooding on Monday and Tuesday left dozens of homes under water and at least eight dead. Serbian [...]

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Yesterday was the summer solstice (in the northern hemisphere), known to humans for thousands of years as the longest day of the year. In ancient times, people celebrated this day as the center point of summer. Some still observe the solstice with ceremonies and prayers, gathering on mountaintops or at spiritual landmarks. Others greet the day with parades, or by simply going outdoors and soaking in the sunshine. Collected here are images of people observing yesterday's solstice in the northern hemisphere -- and in the southern hemisphere, where it marked the darkest day of winter. [26 photos]

A couple celebrates summer solstice at the Kokino megalithic observatory, on June 21, 2011. The 3,800-year-old observatory was discovered in 2001 in the northwestern town of Kumanovo, 70 km (43 miles) north from Skopje, and is ranked the fourth oldest observatory in the world, according to NASA. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski)

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With one month of the season left before the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, take a look at the cold, snowy days of the last couple months.

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