Winter solstice 2017: It's the shortest day of the year

22 December, 2017, 02:13 | Author: Grady Montgomery
  • Today will be the shortest of 2017 but at least there's snow on the mountains

At the solstices, both the winter and summer, the Earth actually takes slightly longer than 24 hours to make a complete rotation (a single day). Central Time on December 21st. But today, at 11:28 AM to be more specific, the season officially starts with the winter solstice.

To summarise the point here, the solstices represent that moment in time when the Sun reaches its most northern or southern point.

The date where Earth is the nearest to the star is marked by the summer solstice. We could take inspiration from the Sun, make time to pause, to rest, to reflect, that we might wake up tomorrow and continue to work toward a brighter day.

But when will the sun set on today's winter solstice and what does it mean? Last year, pagans and druids were among the thousands to visit the ancient Neolithic monument and watch the sun rise on the shortest day of the year.

According to the US Naval Observatory, using Saginaw as our reference point, our sunrise for today is around 8:05 AM and our sunset time is 5:03 PM.

Because the Earth is tilted on its axis at a 23.4-degree angle, the planet experiences different seasons throughout the year.

Starting Friday, the sun will be up for a few seconds longer each day, signaling the start of our slow but steady march toward spring. On Dec. 22, we get a whopping 2 seconds more daylight than Dec. 21. That doesn't really matter, so long as you're at an latitude with long summer days and short winter days.

When is the shortest day of the year?


This is the time of year, for those who practice Paganism - again which they just consider an Earth religion - to celebrate the Yule period (which might sound familiar!) The Yule is marked as the sun's rebirth and the beginning of a new solar year. Here in Lexington we will see nine hours and 31 minutes of daylight. The Northern Hemisphere receives its least direct sunlight on the winter solstice, but in many places the coldest average temperatures of winter aren't until January.

The Sun will be directly overhead today if you're lucky enough to be anywhere on the Tropic of Capricorn such as the spire in Rockhampton, Queensland.



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