'Did you know …?'

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

The winter solstice takes place in December every year and marks the longest period of darkness in the Northern hemisphere. The summer solstice takes place concurrently in the Southern hemisphere at this time. The winter solstice does not last the entire day but is the point at which the sun is shining farthest to the south, directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. The sun also appears at the lowest point in the sky. Its noontime elevation seems to be the same for several days before and after the solstice. The solstice typically falls on December 21 or December 23 each year. Areas of the Northern hemisphere will experience only about nine hours of daylight on the solstice, while other areas that are farther north, such as Iceland and Nome, Alaska, may only have between four and seven hours of daylight. However, all areas above a latitude of 66.5 degrees north, including the Arctic Polar Circle, do not experience a sunrise during the solstice. While it may seem like winter darkness will stretch on interminably, following the winter solstice, the days begin to gradually grow longer and the nights shorter. In 2014, the winter solstice will occur on Sunday, December 21.

0