Google's winter solstice 2017 animation. At different times throughout the year, go to a favorite place where you can watch the sunrise or sunset. And I continue to gather solstice tidings, such as this fascinating connection: bull kelp, the seaweed with a large round bulb flawless for making trumpets, starts to grow on December 21st and stops growing on September 21st, the Autumn Equinox, when the balance of hours of night and day are more or less equal.

Also for us in the southern hemisphere, it's not so surprising that the longest day of the year happens in December. If you want the scientific explanation, the Winter Solstice occurs when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of 23.5 degrees.

Fáilte Ireland and the Office of Public Works have teamed up for the broadcast on the shortest day of the year.

As the year progresses you may be surprised how much of a difference there is in the sunrises and sunsets between the winter and summer seasons.


The equator is an imaginary line drawn right around Earth's middle, like a belt. On the Antarctic Circle, the Sun does not set at all on the Winter Solstice. The winter solstice is the precise moment at which the Northern Hemisphere is tilted farthest from the sun.

Though the distance in the orbit varies, remember the TILT of the Earth is responsible for the change in seasons.

In the pagan tradition, the Goddess gives birth to a son, the God, at Yule, which is around December 21.

Learn more about the solstice and why it's not the coldest day of the year in our scientific guide below. And that's why, for millennia, humans have celebrated the solstice-for the return of the sun that it marks.


Throughout Australia, we'll experience the longest day of the year.

Here's a wonderful time-lapse video of the winter solstice in Fairbanks, Alaska, which gets just about three hours and 41 minutes of daylight at this time. Temperatures will be colder next week, starting with Christmas Day, when highs will be in the 40s (at least a couple of days going forward from there) with overnight lows in the 20s.

This delay in the arrival of our coldest temperatures is better known as seasonal lag.

Most years, it falls on the 21st in the United Kingdom, but sometimes it lands a little bit off-kilter, because it takes the Earth 365 and a quarter days to go around the sun. This tilt is the cause of Earth's seasons.


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