This image shows how sunlight falls on the Earth the day of the winter solstice. Some spots far to the north won't see the sun at all today. Today marks the winter solstice, the beginning of astronomical winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It also marks the shortest day — and the longest night — of the year. The moment of the winter solstice will be at p. CST tonight, or Saturday, Dec. The solstice happens at the same moment no matter where you are on the Earth. The winter solstice marks when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted as far away from the sun as it will be, according to NASA. The tilt of the Earth -- not its distance from the sun -- is what causes the seasons.
Rare Solstice Annular Solar Eclipse
On the 21st of December, the Northern Hemisphere will sink into its deepest point of darkness. Have no fear, it is only the longest night and the shortest day of the year. Today, those of us in the north will be basking in roughly eight hours of daylight. In the morning hours at AM, the astronomical winter will begin. Worldwide, various myths and legends abound around this long night. Historically, little evidence surrounds such events. He paid the ultimate price for his discovery of the astronomical causes of the solstice. His theory of a heliocentric world and solar system, which can be viewed as a direct challenge to biblical representations, resulted in an uproar in the Catholic Church and consequently a lifelong house arrest for Galilei. The topic became a hugely debated issue.
By Vigdis Hocken and Aparna Kher. It is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the darkest day of the year. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. The December Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its most southerly declination of In other words, when the North Pole is tilted furthest away from the Sun. Being the longest day of the year, also means that people in the areas south of the Antarctic Circle towards the South Pole will see the Midnight Sun , i. For people in the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice marks the exact opposite, the day of the year with fewest hours of daylight. North of the Arctic Circle towards the North Pole there is no direct sunlight at all during this time of the year.
By Vigdis Hocken and Aparna Kher. The June solstice is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Position of Earth in relation to the Sun during the June solstice not to scale. In , many locations saw a rare solstice annular solar eclipse on the same day as the June solstice. This will happen only once again this century: on June 21, Missed our webcast?