Happy Winter Solstice

Happy Winter Solstice
MGN Online
Weather Talk

POSTED: Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 4:25pm

UPDATED: Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 4:27pm

What does that mean?

Happy first of winter!! Not only is today officially winter, but it is also the winter solstice!

It's quite interesting to know that mathematically, today is the shortest day of the year. Today's sunrise was marked at 7:13 in the morning and the scheduled sunset is expected to take place at 5:44p.m.

Which means there are about 10 hours of sunlight today. So does that mean it's a shorter day?

Like I said mathematically, yes.

Today we will see 1 less second of daylight. Tomorrow we will see one more second of sunlight and by Christmas we will be seeing a whole 10 seconds more of daylight.

Which means, we are going to be seeing the longest night of the year so far!! Yay! (For those who perfer the night scene )

The city that will see the shortest day in the US will be Washington DC with 9 hours and 26 minutes of sunlight.

The shortest day in the country today will be Reykjavik the capital in Iceland. People there will have a 4 hour and 7 minute day of sunlight before the sun sets.

Although this may sound a little ridiculous, the astronomy behind the winter solstice is actually amazing.

The December solstice occurs when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees.

In other words, it is when the North Pole is tilted 23.5 degrees AWAY from the sun.

The opposite is true for the summer solstice.

This is where you get the saying, long days of summer, short days of winter.

Because the sun isn't hitting the northern hemisphere like it would in the summer solstice days tend to be shorter in December, but they will gradually be increasing in hours as the Earth begins to tilt the the opposite way.

However, in the southern hemisphere today is the longest day so far.

Buenos Aires, Aregentina, their day is expected to last about 14 hours and 29 minutes. (I wonder how hard it would be to go to sleep there?)

Ok interesting fact: In 2012, the December Solstice coincided with the end of the Mayan calendar.

Many saw this as a prophecy of the end of the world. (But we are still alive!)

One last interesting fact: the winter solstice took place today at 12:11p.m. That was when the earth was tilted at its most distant position away from the sun.

Let the winter solstice begin!!

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