Winter Solstice: 6 things to know

22 December, 2017, 02:12 | Author: Harriet Bell
  • Toby Melville—Reuters

The Winter Solstice will occur at 11:28 AM. Meteorological winter begins December 1 and lasts until the end of February and is marked by the coldest average temperatures during the year.

This marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, according to the National Weather Service.

"Though most refer to the solstice as an entire day, in reality, the solstice is defined as a single moment: when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn".

Fáilte Ireland and the Office of Public Works have teamed up for the broadcast on the shortest day of the year. The winter solstice has been honored as a time of divine births for a long time: in Persia, Mithras was said to have been born at this time and in ancient Egypt the date marked the birth of Horus. The four seasons are based on the Earth's tilt and the Sun's alignment over the Equator. On the Antarctic Circle, the Sun does not set at all on the Winter Solstice.

Let's clear the record: The winter solstice marks the shortest daylight period in the Northern Hemisphere.

The sunrise on the day is at 8.04am.

This is because the tilt of the Earth's axis is least aligned with the sun, providing us with the least daylight of the year. Eastern Time on Thursday, Dec. 21. The coldest days of the month often lag behind the winter solstice, coming in mid-January for cities like Chicago, Boston and even Miami.

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From a timing point of view, if you go by your clock or watch then every day is a standard 24 hours long (give or take the odd leap second).

Here's a wonderful time-lapse video of the winter solstice in Fairbanks, Alaska, which gets just about three hours and 41 minutes of daylight at this time.

Since the earth is tilted on a 23.5° angle, it makes sense.

For thousands of years, Winter Solstice has celebrated the new solar year.

The exact timing of the coldest stretch of the year depends on several factors, including how close you live to water, prevailing wind direction and the amount of snow cover (snow is great at reflecting the sun's heat straight back into space).

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