At Exactly 9:47am Monday, The B-Town Blog Wishes You Happy Winter Solstice!

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Monday, Dec. 21st will be the “shortest day of the year” as the annual Winter Solstice happens at precisely 9:47am PST, marking the beginning of Winter for us Earthly Northern Hemispherians.

At 9:47am, the Sun will be directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, which is about 23.5 degrees south of the equator. As the earth rotates around the Sun on its tilted axis, the Northern Hemisphere “leans away” from sunlight, making for “shorter days” and colder temperatures.

Winter Solstice is often referred to as “the shortest day of the year,” but that’s wrong – it still contains 24 hours, ya silly goose. It just has the least amount of sunlight. So stop calling it the “shortest,” will ya? You’re giving the Earth a “short day complex.” Next thing ya know, it’ll be driving a big truck.

Some fun Winter Solstice facts:

  • While most Winter Solstices occur on Dec. 21st, there have been years when the solstices have occurred on Dec. 20th and/or Dec. 23rd, but this is fairly rare. The last Dec. 23rd solstice occurred in 1903 and will not occur again until the year 2303. A Dec. 20 solstice has occurred very rarely, with the next one occurring in the year 2080. So mark your Outlook Calendars now.
  • Winter solstice’s varying dates are mainly due to the calendar system with 365 days in a year with 366 in a leap year.
  • Solstice is a Latin word which means “sun stands still,” referring to the appearance that the Sun’s noontime elevation change stops its progress, either northerly or southerly.
  • Solstices occur twice a year – Dec. 21st and June 21st, because our planet is tilted by an average of 23.5 degrees as it orbits the sun – the same phenomenon that drives the seasons.

So…Happy Winter Solstice to one and all! And remember, the days will all be getting longer from now until June 21st!

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