Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice

Tonight marks the beginning of the winter season. For record-keeping purposes, meteorological winter already began December 1st, but astrologically, we are now officially approaching the 'depth of winter'.

The sun's angle to the earth determines seasonal patterns
 With the sun's angle to the earth sinking to its farthest point to the south, we can expect December 21 to have the least amount of daylight. 

Sun warms the southern hemisphere during our winter season
 The sun will still shine through the winter, but with the rays directly overhead in the southern hemisphere, we experience winter while they experience summer. 

Winter officially begins at 6:03pm, December 21. Some years, it may occur earlier or later in the day, even falling on the 20th or 22nd of the month if the sun's angle hits its lowest point before or after midnight. This year, we will experience 9 hours and 9 minutes of daylight on December 21st, making it the 'shortest day' of the year.