Happy Solstice: Astronomical Winter begins today

Emmett Rice
December 24, 2017

Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year. We're here to answer all your questions!

What is the winter solstice, and why do we have it?

As Google points out, the winter solstice is technically a single moment "when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Capricorn". Up above the Arctic Circle, the sun never rises on this day. However, that's not the case for everyone. In the Northern Hemisphere, we see the sun take its lowest and shortest path across the southern sky, and at local noon, your shadow will be the longest of the year.

When does the winter solstice occur?

. Eastern Time on Thursday, Dec. 21. Those in the Southern Hemisphere have their own summer solstice Google Doodle.

Of course, our long winter night pales in comparison with Alaska, where the sun barely climbs above the horizon for three to four hours in much of the Last Frontier.

Alabama's coldest weather typically comes in January.

You can check the precise times in your area using this sunset calendar. "In 2019, it will be at 11:19 p.m. ET, so for people living in Puerto Rico and other time zones to the east, the date of the solstice will be on the 22nd".

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The winter solstice is not normally the coldest day of the year.

Today, Brú na Bóinne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and key Ireland's Ancient East attraction visited by over 207,000 people a year. Even the Christmas tree might have roots celebrating the solar event. "This effect, called 'the lag of the seasons, ' is similar to how when you turn down the heat while you're cooking - the pot won't immediately reach its coolest temperature". So, when is it in 2017, how long will the day be, and what does it mean? From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from NY to Texas.

Astronomical winter begins at 10:28 a.m. CST today, Thursday, Dec. 21.

Leading to a search for "winter solstice 2017", today's doodle show the mouse doing a little ice skating and playing in the snow. According to EarthSky.org, the earliest sunset of the year falls between November 29 and December 9 in the United States. If you're farther north, your earliest sunsets are around December 7.

The Earth rotates the Sun on a tilt - at an angle of 23.5 degrees.

What does all of this have to do with Stonehenge?

The shortest day of the year. And one of the most well-known winter solstice celebration is Yule, the pagan tradition of welcoming the sunrise with gratitude. The Stonehenge monument is shaped so it aligns with the winter's solstice sunset.

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