Astronomy

22nd is shortest day in some places, but the 21st is shortest in other places. Can this be true?

22nd is shortest day in some places, but the 21st is shortest in other places. Can this be true?


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The Winter Solstice in the Northern hemisphere in 2015 is December 22 at 04:49 UTC. Where I'm located in Nova Scotia, Canada, that's December 22, 00:49 AST. And so I would say the shortest day of the year is tomorrow, the 22nd. But for my friends in Ontario, that's December 21, 23:49 EST. And so, for them, the shortest day is today, the 21st.

Does this make sense?


@DavidHammen is correct in noticing that http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.php rounds to the nearest minute (and it turns out they do this inconsistently), so I wrote https://github.com/barrycarter/bcapps/blob/master/ASTRO/bc-solve-astro-12940.c to solve this.

However, it was pretty much a waste of time, since it just verifies @JeffY's comment that the 21st and 22nd are equally long at longitude 72 degrees and 15 minutes west.

The equal day lines actually runs northwest/southeast, starting at about22N, 71.25Wand ending at67N, 73.05W, looking something like this on an equiangular map (longitude scale greatly exaggerated):

West of this line, the 21st is the shortest day; east of this line, the 22nd is the shortest.

South of 22N, we cross the Tropic of Cancer, and neither day would be the shortest. North of 67N, we enter the land of 24-hour sunlessness, where there are multiple days with zero sunlight.

ADDENDUM: Per @JeffY's observation, the shortest/longest day will occur on the same day worldwide (roughly speaking) when the solstice occurs at noon GMT. Here are the times this century when the solstice occurs within 1 hour of noon GMT:

2004-12-21 12:41:32 2006-06-21 12:25:54 2008-12-21 12:03:48 2010-06-21 11:28:21 2012-12-21 11:11:34 2035-06-21 12:33:08 2039-06-21 11:57:22 2041-12-21 12:18:22 2045-12-21 11:35:09 2064-06-20 12:46:15 2068-06-20 11:54:24 2072-06-20 11:14:32 2074-12-21 12:36:04 2078-12-21 11:58:57 2082-12-21 11:05:49 2097-06-20 12:15:11

Sure it can be (and is) true. Everyone is going through the Earth's "zone of lightness" at different times. Presumably whichever of those times is "nearest to" the actual moment of solstice will be the "shortest period between sunrise and sunset" for any given person (longitude) (ignoring natural and time-zone variations as noted in other comments). As you note, for your friends and everyone west of them up to the Date Line, that will likely be 12/21. And for you and everyone east of you around to the Date Line, that will likely be 12/22.

Maybe it helps (or maybe not) when you realize that people very close to the Date Line itself but on opposite sides experience 12/21 and 12/22, resp., as "the same day".


Here's a simple python3 script that calculates when the shortest day of the year occurs at various longitudes. If you don't already have PyEphem, it's a cinch to install it:pip3 install PyEphem(or justpip install PyEphemif you've moved beyond python2).

import ephem sun = ephem.Sun() obs = ephem.Observer() obs.lat = '49' start_year = 2015 end_year = 2017 for iyear in range(start_year,end_year+1) : solstice = ephem.next_solstice(42357+(iyear-2015)*365.25) print("December solstice in", iyear, "is at", solstice, "UTC") print("Shortest day of the year, by longitude:") print("Date Longitude") for lon in range(-180, 180+10, 10) : tzoffset = lon/15/24; obs.lon = str(lon) # Start with a date that makes the next transit of the Sun two or three # days prior to the solstice. obs.date = solstice-3 sun.compute (obs) data = [] for day in range(6) : obs.date = obs.next_transit(sun) sun.compute (obs) day_length = obs.next_setting(sun) - obs.previous_rising(sun) date = ephem.Date(obs.date+tzoffset) data.append ((day, date, day_length)) shortest = min(data, key=lambda entry: entry[2]) if (shortest[0] == 0) or (shortest[0] == 5) : raise RuntimeError("Can't find shortest day") print("12/"+str(shortest[1].datetime().day), lon) print()

Note that if you change the start and end years so that you can see up to 2196, you'll see that the shortest day of the year in that year for much of the northern hemisphere will occur on the 20th of December.


EDIT: Ignore below, see comments for correction.

@DavidHammen, I ran your script with start and stop year both set to 2096, and got this:

('December solstice in', 2096, 'is at', 2096/12/20 20:45:17, 'UTC')

Shortest day of the year, by longitude: Date Longitude ('12/19', -180) ('12/19', -170) ('12/19', -160) ('12/19', -150) ('12/19', -140) ('12/19', -130) ('12/19', -120) ('12/19', -110) ('12/19', -100) ('12/19', -90) ('12/19', -80) ('12/19', -70) ('12/19', -60) ('12/19', -50) ('12/19', -40) ('12/19', -30) ('12/19', -20) ('12/19', -10) ('12/20', 0) ('12/20', 10) ('12/20', 20) ('12/20', 30) ('12/20', 40) ('12/20', 50) ('12/21', 60) ('12/21', 70) ('12/21', 80) ('12/21', 90) ('12/21', 100) ('12/21', 110) ('12/21', 120) ('12/21', 130) ('12/21', 140) ('12/21', 150) ('12/21', 160) ('12/21', 170) ('12/20', 180) ()

I take it you're getting different results?


Ireland&rsquos shortest day will not fall on December 21st this year

A new €4.5m state-of-the-art visitor experience has opened at Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre, the entry point for the renowned Neolithic Passage Tomb complexes at Newgrange and Knowth. Video: Bryan O'Brien

When exactly is the shortest day of the year?

December 21st is often considered to be the shortest day of the year and usually the date of winter solstice celebrations. However, the exact date of the shortest day in this part of the world varies every year.

Technically speaking, the shortest day occurs when the sun is tilted farthest from the northern hemisphere and therefore closest to the horizon. This is the day when the countries north of the equator receive the least amount of sun. Conversely, places south of the equator receive the most sunlight on the same day and experience their longest day.

However, as the modern calendar is slightly out of synch with the solar year of 365.2422 days, this shortest day can occur any day between December 20th and 23rd. But, what happens most often is that the shortest day is on December 21st or 22nd.

In 2019, the shortest day will be on Sunday, December 22nd, when we will have less than eight hours of sunlight.

However, to confuse matters further, the shortest day doesn’t coincide with the earliest sunset or the latest sunrise. Meteorologists and astronomists say that, in this part of the world, the earliest sunset happens a few days before winter solstice, and the year’s latest sunrise occurs a few days after the solstice.

Where does the term winter solstice come from?

The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, which means sun standing still. On this day, the sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction when it reaches its southernmost position as seen from the earth. For this reason, the solstice is called the sun’s turning in some languages.

The day after the winter solstice marks the beginning of the lengthening of days, leading up to the summer solstice on June 21st. Many people feel relieved once December 21st has passed but often the sense of the days lengthening will only be noticed from January onwards.

Related

Where can I celebrate the winter solstice?

In Ireland, winter solstice is marked in various locations, the best-known of which is at the megalithic tomb in Newgrange, Co Meath. The dawn celebrations there are held on December 18th-23rd inclusive and are open to all. However, only the 20 people who have tickets can gain access to the interior of the monument on each of these days.

The magical moment – which occurs only if the sun is shining – is when a shaft of sunlight streams into the inner chamber. Staff at Brú Na Bóinne Visitors Centre, from where you enter Newgrange, point out there is no guarantee that weather will allow sunlight to enter the inner chamber on any of these days. To apply for tickets for next year’s winter solstice see newgrange.com/solstice-lottery.htm.The Hill of Tara is another popular gathering place for people at the winter solstice. People also gather at the Knockroe Passage Tomb in Kilkenny, at Loughcrew in Co Meath and at Carrowkeel in Co Sligo.

Which historical festivals celebrated the winter solstice?

The Feast of Juul (from which we get the term Yule) is a pre-Christian festival of northern Europe. The Norsemen worshipped the sun as the wheel that changed the seasons. During the Feast of Juul, people lit fires to symbolise the heat and light of the returning sun, and a Yule log was brought into the hearth to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck to the coming year.

The Ancient Romans also celebrated the rebirth of the year with the seven-day Saturnalia festival, which started on December 17th. Saturnalian banquets were held to honour Saturn, the father of the gods.

Yalda or Shab-e-Chelleh is an Iranian festival which celebrated the longest and darkest night of the year.

How can I enjoy time outdoors on the shortest days?

Getting outside – particularly at the start of the day when the sun rises – helps to keep the spirits up, the mind clear and the body agile at this time of the year. The upside of such short days is that it’s much easier for people to experience sunrise and sunset.

Shirley Gleeson, nature and wellbeing consultant, says early-morning sunlight is also very beneficial for healthy sleep. Also, for people with seasonal affective disorder, the sunlight helps boost serotonin levels. “Wrap up warm in layers, as it is difficult to enjoy the outdoors if you are cold and wet,” she says.

Gleeson says the beauty of nature is always there – even though it may look stark in winter. “Consider the raindrops glistening in the early-morning sun, the crunch of the frost under our feet, the delight in feeling our noses cold in the crisp clean air and seeing our breath before us.”

What approach should people take to the dark days of deepest winter?

Gleeson says that by embracing the darkness, people can use it as an opportunity to slow down, rest, turn inwards and reflect on what’s important in their lives. “Use it as a time for introspection and give yourself permission to adopt a different pace of life. Modern society expects us to be on the go all the time, producing, achieving, striving to better ourselves. If we spend time in nature we will see that everything slows down, retreats, goes underground and hibernates. We should give ourselves permission to do a little of this.”

The poetry of mid-winter

Poets often best capture the energy and mood of mid-winter. And The Shortest Day, by English poet Susan Cooper, brings to mind the human need to “keep the year alive” by lighting candles, bringing evergreen trees and branches indoors and feasting with friends.

The Shortest Day, by Susan Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees
They hung their homes with evergreen
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

A new picture book of this poem, illustrated by Carson Ellis, is published by Walker Books


Dec 21: 5 Things You Should Know About Shortest Day Of The Year

The first day of winter and the shortest day of the year, known as the winter solstice.

Winter may just be getting started, but if you're ready for more sunlight, you won't have much longer to wait. Dec. 21 is the winter solstice: the shortest day and longest night of the year here in Earth's northern hemisphere.

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. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Winter is just getting into high gear. Learn more about the solstice and why it's not the coldest day of the year in our scientific guide below.

1. What happens on the winter solstice?

The December solstice marks the exact moment when the sun's most direct rays reach their southernmost point south of the equator, along the Tropic of Capricorn, at 23.5 degrees south latitude. The time and date of the solstice change slightly each year, but this year's solstice occurs at 11:28 a.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 21.

The reason we have a solstice - and seasons - is because the Earth is tilted on its axis of rotation by about 23.5 degrees. This tilt causes each hemisphere to receive different amounts of sunlight throughout the year as our planet orbits the sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, we see the sun take its lowest and shortest path across the southern sky, and at local noon, your shadow will be the longest of the year.

The word "solstice" comes from the Latin words sol sistere, which means "sun standing still." On the December solstice, the sun's daily southward movement in the sky appears to pause, and we see the sun rise and set at its southernmost points on the horizon before reversing direction. It's a yearly astronomical turning point that humans have celebrated for millennia (just think Stonehenge or the ancient Maya).

2. How many hours of daylight are there on the winter solstice?

The amount of daylight you'll see on the solstice depends on your latitude, or distance from the equator.

In the Lower 48, the sun is up for more than 10 hours across Florida and southern Texas, while states across the northern tier get under nine hours of daylight. In Washington, D.C., the sun is up for 9 hours 26 minutes (rising at 7:23 a.m. and setting at 4:49 p.m.).

Of course, our long winter night pales in comparison with Alaska, where the sun barely climbs above the horizon for three to four hours in much of the Last Frontier. North of the Arctic Circle - at 66.5 degrees north latitude - the sun never rises, and darkness prevails as the Earth rotates on its axis.

3. When are sunrise and sunset?

The exact times of sunrise and sunset depend on two things: your latitude and geographic location within your time zone.

If you're tired of these dark evenings, the good news is that our earliest sunsets are already behind us. In fact, it's been gradually getting lighter in the evenings for more than a week now.

4. Wait a minute, the earliest sunset and latest sunrise don't occur on the solstice?

Let's clear the record: The winter solstice marks the shortest daylight period in the Northern Hemisphere. However, it's never the day of the latest sunrise or earliest sunset. This astronomical quirk happens because of Earth's 23.5-degree tilt and our elliptical orbit around the sun.

5. Why do the days still get colder after the solstice?

"As the days lengthen, the cold strengthens." It's an old proverb that certainly has some scientific truth. 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.

This delay in the arrival of our coldest temperatures is better known as seasonal lag. It happens because the amount of solar energy arriving at the ground is less than the amount leaving the earth for a few more weeks (a bit like a bank account that starts losing money when you make more withdrawals than deposits). Oceans and bodies of water - which take longer than land to heat up and cool down - keep temperatures from rising very fast. Not until the Northern Hemisphere sees a net gain in solar energy (more heat coming in than going out) do average temperatures begin their ascent.

The exact timing of the coldest stretch of the year depends on several factors, including how close you live to water, prevailing wind direction and the amount of snow cover (snow is great at reflecting the sun's heat straight back into space).

If you don't like the cold, here's a silver lining: Whatever the rest of winter brings, daylight is once again on the upswing. That's definitely something to celebrate!

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


Is December 21st really the shortest day of the year throughout the UK?

The shortest day of the year varies in the UK depending on where you live Credit: NASA/Alamy

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T oday is December 21st, the date of this year's winter solstice and popularly known as the shortest day of the year.

The December solstice happens every year when the Sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees - this is the same for everyone in the world no matter where you live.

However, sunset and sunrise data from the UK Hydrographic Office show that, unlike the solstice, the shortest day of the year varies depending on where you live.

D ue to the UK's elongated shape it covers a relatively wide range of latitudinal degrees (north to south), which means that the country's climate varies slightly depending on where you are.

If you live in the north of Scotland then you're generally going to experience colder temperatures to people living on the south coast of England.

The same goes for sunlight hours, and this variation means that the shortest day of the year can be different depending on where you live.

The UK Hydrographic Office and HM Nautical Almanac Office specialise in astronomy and celestial navigation and hold data on sunrise and sunset times for everywhere in the country.

Is December 21st really the shortest day of the year?

I n many places today is the shortest - or at least the joint shortest - day of 2016 when considering the amount of time taken from sunrise to sunset.

I n Manchester, for instance, the sun rose at 08:23 GMT and will set at 15:51 GMT, giving people in the city a day lasting seven hours and 28 minutes. This also happens to be exactly the same day length in Manchester as on December 20th and December 22nd.

The same is true of London where December 21st is the joint-shortest day of the year, coming in at seven hours and 50 minutes in length.

H owever, in places like Leeds, Aberdeen, Sheffield and Edinburgh December 21st isn't the shortest day of 2016.

In Aberdeen the shortest days of the year are actually December 20th and 22nd, with just six hours and 40 minutes between sunrise and sunset each. December 21st in Aberdeen will last approximately one minute more than this.

In Cardiff seven different December days share the accolade of being the shortest of the year, with the first having occurred on December 17th and the last due to occur on Christmas day.

R ather than a consistent shortening of day lengths, it seems that the time between sunrise and sunset actually fluctuates up and down on a daily basis.

Of the 17 towns and cities which we surveyed, Birmingham was the only one to only have December 21st as its shortest day. By this measure it means that Birmingham is currently the only one of these places where the days will start to get longer from now on.


Community Reviews

Illumination
Let me tell you about an ancient monument at Brú na Bóinne near Drogheda, Ireland, about 50 miles from where I live, called Newgrange. The monument is a large dome structure, built with stone that was carried from up to one hundred miles away, each shaped, and placed with precision to maintain a roof, covered in grass, that remained intact and waterproof since 3200 BC (well that’s a wishful extrapolation. Anyway, it has remained watertight when the visitors centre hasn’t). There is o Illumination
Let me tell you about an ancient monument at Brú na Bóinne near Drogheda, Ireland, about 50 miles from where I live, called Newgrange. The monument is a large dome structure, built with stone that was carried from up to one hundred miles away, each shaped, and placed with precision to maintain a roof, covered in grass, that remained intact and waterproof since 3200 BC (well that’s a wishful extrapolation. Anyway, it has remained watertight when the visitors centre hasn’t). There is one passageway that leads from the entrance to a central chamber with three altars and many carved spiral images chiselled into the stone. The amazing aspect of this building is that it is 5200 years old, pre-dating the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge. Above the entrance is a small window called a roof-box and the remarkable objective of this feature is that it is part of the construction that enables a unique event to happen once per year, where on the morning of the winter solstice, The Shortest Day, the sun’s rays align perfectly to shine directly through the roof-box, down the passageway and illuminate the dark chamber in an awesome sight. I have visited Newgrange a number of times and I’m blown away by the unbelievable geometry of the place, how ancient farmers constructed a monument that perfectly designed a dome and passageway, taking into account elevation, angles and astronomy.

Colm Tóibín has crafted a beautiful tale centred on Newgrange where the spirits of the past remain in the dark and talk through the stories Dalc would bring them, being the only spirit amongst them that could wander in the world. They agreed to always tell the truth, even with the things they made up. More than anything they looked forward to the shortest day of the year, for the sun to bring light to their world and remind them of the lives they once had.

But it was their secret and while they had shared this secret with the locals it had remained hidden for generations. The locals had respected this moment of majestic beauty and left it for the spirits to relish in private.

An archaeologist, Professor Michael O’Kelly has a fascination with the Newgrange site and intends visiting it in the week before Christmas, around 21st December - The Shortest Day. The spirits know he’s coming and while gentle in nature, they try to block and delay him getting to the site to witness the illumination phenomenon.

A precious short story from a master storyteller who weaves much of the factual details with a compelling supernatural tale that has us imagining wildly the awesome history of the place. The lives that were impacted either building the burial chamber or buried there remind us what was achieved stretching so far into our past. On a historical note, it was Prof Michael O’Kelly who was the first in modern times to witness the illumination event in 1967. . more

‘’Thus, it was the strangeness of the night sky and the seasons that they loved and missed, the strangeness of fire and water, the strangeness they noted in each other.’’

It is Christmas and there is magic in the air for children and adults. For the professor of our story, this is the time to discover the answer to a riddle that has been haunting him for far too long. The burial chamber of Newgrange, a site older than Stonehedge, older than the Pyramids, a secret place that fiercely protects ‘’Thus, it was the strangeness of the night sky and the seasons that they loved and missed, the strangeness of fire and water, the strangeness they noted in each other.’’

It is Christmas and there is magic in the air for children and adults. For the professor of our story, this is the time to discover the answer to a riddle that has been haunting him for far too long. The burial chamber of Newgrange, a site older than Stonehedge, older than the Pyramids, a secret place that fiercely protects its hidden treasures and its valuable ray of light. Guarding Newgrange, the spirits of the age of old are willing to catch a glimpse of the mortal world but they won’t give up their secrets.

‘’We are spirits. We do not want to associate with the visible world.’’
‘’He is a man alive in the world. He is capable of anything.’’

Colm Tóibín creates a beautiful, atmospheric story about the shortest day, the longest night and the unbreakable bond between the present and the past, the world of the living and the land of the dead. The influence of History on our lives, the wisdom of our ancestors who were once ignorant mortals. In the burial chamber, mythical Ireland is given a vivid voice as the spirits of the past (dating back to the days of the legendary Cuchulain) are waiting for the light of the shortest day of the year.

The ceremonies and rituals of the pagan past that fascinates and mystifies us and the risk caused by today’s need to know everything, refusing to understand that, sometimes, we all need to stay silent and listen carefully are perfectly joined in this wondrous story where respect and reverence open a small window to the past.

‘’The rays of sunshine that beamed into the chamber on the shortest day nourished them through the darkness of the year to come. The light appeared precisely on the winter solstice, as they had planned. It shone in the morning. Within a short time, all trace of it was gone. It made them feel that they still belonged to the world they had lost as the darkness folded around them once more’’

Many thanks to Amazon Original Stories and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

4 "science meets spirit" stars !

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and Amazon Original stories for an e-copy of this short story in exchange for my honest review. The publication date is November 2020 and it took me about twenty five minutes to read this story.

Professor O&aposKelley is an archaeologist, a man of science who studies with joy and enthusiasm what is in front of him and does not make inferences about the ancient burial tomb and culture that he has studied for many years in rural Ireland 4 "science meets spirit" stars !

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and Amazon Original stories for an e-copy of this short story in exchange for my honest review. The publication date is November 2020 and it took me about twenty five minutes to read this story.

Professor O'Kelley is an archaeologist, a man of science who studies with joy and enthusiasm what is in front of him and does not make inferences about the ancient burial tomb and culture that he has studied for many years in rural Ireland. There are whisperings of spirits that await the winter solstice and an Irish family try to.

This is not an eerie tale but a delightful tale of the contemporary world meeting the ancient world and the results that transpires.

This is my first read of Mr. Coibin and I was impressed with the feeling of awe that can be had equally whether dealing with the precision of science or the nebulousness of spirituality.

A wonderful Christmas story !

. more

The Yule Solstice, a time of great power in Neolithic societies (if the number of archaeological sites with demonstrable connections to the Sun&aposs position on that date is any evidence), has come to his attention as an important time at Newgrange as well. He feels duty bound, as the first archaeologist to possess this information, to investigate despite his unshakeable materialism:
The job of an archaeologist was to make known only what can be proved. The rest was idle sp Real Rating: 4.75* of five

The Yule Solstice, a time of great power in Neolithic societies (if the number of archaeological sites with demonstrable connections to the Sun's position on that date is any evidence), has come to his attention as an important time at Newgrange as well. He feels duty bound, as the first archaeologist to possess this information, to investigate despite his unshakeable materialism:
The job of an archaeologist was to make known only what can be proved. The rest was idle speculation.

So two things are immediately apparent from this. First is that this is a story set in the past, as the site in its present state dates from after 1982 (see link beside the photo). Second is that there are those who know more than they have told about the site in the many years of Ireland's fussing about with it. That's very interesting.

As the tale is a short one, I don't want to give too much away. The entire review is posted at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud. . more

Set in Ireland, this short story centers around the secrets, and mysterious stories associated with Newgrange, an ancient World Heritage Site built during the Stone Age, as well as a man from Cork, Professor O’Kelly, who wants to understand the mystery of this ancient, sacred site. How, and why, it was built so long ago, and yet the construction of it is not only creative, but shows the skills of early man to build this structure, along with others. Keeping in mind they lacked the advantage of m
Set in Ireland, this short story centers around the secrets, and mysterious stories associated with Newgrange, an ancient World Heritage Site built during the Stone Age, as well as a man from Cork, Professor O’Kelly, who wants to understand the mystery of this ancient, sacred site. How, and why, it was built so long ago, and yet the construction of it is not only creative, but shows the skills of early man to build this structure, along with others. Keeping in mind they lacked the advantage of metal tools, and yet they carved celtic designs in the ceilings and walls, which remain, and this was constructed in such a way that no water has managed to seep inside the main chamber.

Listening to this wonderful story brought back memories of visiting this site several years ago, and how impressive it was, and sacred it felt. I wasn’t there for the Winter Solstice, when a beam of light which travels from an opening, the ‘roof-box,’ and lights the interior gradually, as the sun rises, until the light almost mystically illuminates the passage and chamber, but even without witnessing the traveling light, visiting there left me in awe of what I did see.

Wonderfully narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, this was a lovely reminder of the beauty and mystery that still exists, somewhere out there.
. more

The Shortest Day. and in the scheme of things, aren&apost they all?

Colm Toibin&aposs short story takes us from the presence of an Irish mist in County Meath back through time to 3200 BC. As an archaeologist, Professor O&aposKelly has been enthralled by Newgrange rising above River Boyne. Ireland can readily boast of its treasure from the Neolithic Period which is older than the pyramids and even Stonehenge.

And no matter how many occasions of his skillful manuevering through its passageways, this Christm The Shortest Day. and in the scheme of things, aren't they all?

Colm Toibin's short story takes us from the presence of an Irish mist in County Meath back through time to 3200 BC. As an archaeologist, Professor O'Kelly has been enthralled by Newgrange rising above River Boyne. Ireland can readily boast of its treasure from the Neolithic Period which is older than the pyramids and even Stonehenge.

And no matter how many occasions of his skillful manuevering through its passageways, this Christmas season will be ripe to see the unseen for O'Kelly. It's the winter solstice and there is a secret wrapped in the light that may reveal itself to his aging professoring eyes. O'Kelly ponders the hierarchy of the people and their beliefs. Those who are in charge and those who simply build. Thousands of years in humankind and not much ever changes.

Toibin weaves a bit of Irish folktale and fantasy throughout this one. An Irish secret is a rough gem passed down and kept in the back pocket of many a family and many a village. And hidden as it may well be, Toibin allows the readers a glimpse of the glimmer in this very satisfying and exceptional short story. It's one for the Ages and one for the here and now.

I received a copy of The Shortest Day through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Amazon Originals and to the talented Colm Toibin for the opportunity. . more

3.5★
“What fascinated him most, however, was the method of building. Someone among them knew about stress and weight. Nothing here was random or primitive or wild.”

Professor O’Kelly has finally found a time when he can investigate a Neolithic passage tomb from 3200 BC without students and colleagues along. He’s picked the few days before Christmas, when everyone else is busy and the weather is uninviting. He’s even done his Christmas shopping early (unheard of, for an absent-minded professor), an 3.5★
“What fascinated him most, however, was the method of building. Someone among them knew about stress and weight. Nothing here was random or primitive or wild.”

Professor O’Kelly has finally found a time when he can investigate a Neolithic passage tomb from 3200 BC without students and colleagues along. He’s picked the few days before Christmas, when everyone else is busy and the weather is uninviting. He’s even done his Christmas shopping early (unheard of, for an absent-minded professor), and is anxious to get to his lodgings.

Everywhere he stops along the way, the people seem to be waiting for him, knowing where he is going, and they don’t seem pleased about it. The Newgrange structure is older than both the Pyramids and Stonehenge. A common feature of them is the list of questions. Who? Why? And especially How?

He has been asked often what he knows about the people and why they built it.

‘But did they have gods? Or believe in an afterlife?’ one writer had insisted.

‘It is my job to sift the evidence,’ the professor replied. ‘There is no evidence that would allow me to answer that question.’

Of course he’s much more curious than he admits, and he’s becoming increasingly aware that the locals know something he doesn’t. We, however, are privy to some voices, or sounds, or drifting thought patterns inside the tombs and their worry about his coming there over the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.

Around the world, archaeologists have found ancient structures that mark seasons and the solstices and equinoxes.
https://www.almanac.com/content/ancie.

He realises that future archaeologists won’t be able to tell from our monuments and places of worship what our beliefs were.

“The scholars would just have the arches, the pillars, the tiled floor, the outline of the building, perhaps some of the items used on the altar. But if they did not have the prayer books, then they would know nothing about the prayers that were said, or the rituals that were performed. So, too, with Newgrange. He had the stones, but he did not have he equivalent of prayer books, whatever form they might have taken.”

It’s a very short story, an Amazon Original, but I have to admit it wasn’t what I expected from an author I’ve heard so much about but hadn’t read before. But I certainly enjoyed being introduced to Newgrange, I will read more Colm Tóibín. Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Original Stories for the preview copy.

I’ll add a photo of Newgrange below. The tomb passageway in the story is from the entrance into the tomb itself.

Newgrange from Voices From The Dawn

They also have other information and photos and a virtual reality tour.
https://voicesfromthedawn.com/newgrange/

Confession: I’m not a big fan of short stories. It’s not that I’ve never read a short story I’ve enjoyed, but I haven’t taken the time to determine which qualities the stories I like have in common. I think it might be that they have a clear ironic twist, or that they are short, or both, but I’m not sure. I recently read The Overstory which begins with nine segments that read as short stories. I thoroughly enjoyed those, but I think that may have been because they were all clearly linked and mov Confession: I’m not a big fan of short stories. It’s not that I’ve never read a short story I’ve enjoyed, but I haven’t taken the time to determine which qualities the stories I like have in common. I think it might be that they have a clear ironic twist, or that they are short, or both, but I’m not sure. I recently read The Overstory which begins with nine segments that read as short stories. I thoroughly enjoyed those, but I think that may have been because they were all clearly linked and moving toward a common destination.

The Shortest Day has been described as a novella, but at 31 pages, an hour on audio, I consider it more of an atmospheric short story, one that for me stopped short of being anything more than just ok. The story felt as if it was just drifting along and never really grabbed me, although the writing was lovely. My guess is that short story enthusiasts, or Colm Toibin followers, would get more from it than I did. . more

A very likeable story, and I&aposm glad I heard of it, though I found a few of the details unsatisfying. I read two friends&apos reviews of this before I listened to it, and afterwards, my opinion falls somewhere between them.

I might also know a bit too much about archaeology not to nitpick, and to find some of the professor&aposs thoughts, as written by Tóibín, rather elementary and sounding more like a sixth-former who wants to do an archaeology degree, or a professor in a children&aposs book, than a career A very likeable story, and I'm glad I heard of it, though I found a few of the details unsatisfying. I read two friends' reviews of this before I listened to it, and afterwards, my opinion falls somewhere between them.

I might also know a bit too much about archaeology not to nitpick, and to find some of the professor's thoughts, as written by Tóibín, rather elementary and sounding more like a sixth-former who wants to do an archaeology degree, or a professor in a children's book, than a career academic in his fifties in adult literary fiction whose audience might include similar. But I also don't know much about what this area of archaeology was like in the late 1960s and if one might have had as credo, viewpoints that seem basic or unimaginative today.

It's a shame there wasn't more sense of a writer really wrangling with what it might feel like to have a consciousness five thousand years old. It was a bit flippant and cartoonish, and had prehistoric spirits apparently talking about things for the first time which they would have heard about, in this setup, at least decades before 1967. More depth might be possible without losing all comedy. (Though on reflection, perhaps this was written as a family story. You could give it to a bright eight or nine year-old and no-one would take issue with the content, except fundamentalist Christians who objected to the idea of something prehistoric and pagan being sacred.) And when it's funny it's quite sweet, like one exasperated spirit telling another that Stonehenge is an island near Dublin inhabited by goats.

The spirits spend almost all their time discussing things that happened in times that, for them, are very or quite recent. I mean, I'm only in my forties and find a lot of stuff from after 2000/2005 a bit newfangled and still recent-seeming, and with friends the same age I refer to a lot of older stuff. These beings have had hugely more afterwards, but their frame of reference feels too skewed to the relatively recent for the sake of writerly convenience. The almost gossipy conversation about Cú Chulainn was well-constructed, though, evading the question of whether he was part of their belief system or a being from a later one whom they had heard about since death.

When I read a fictional account of prehistoric people that purports to show how they thought, what I hope to find is a revelatory perspective shift that also seems plausible - like the one Barbara Ehrenreich delivered in this wonderful 2019 article on cave art, spinning off from a quote from a French archaeologist, about how humans were less important players, less powerful, and the greatest drama and significance lay with large animals, far more plentiful and present than today. There are probably only so many such perspective shifts possible, and fewer still that would feel new and epiphanic to someone who's read quite a lot of such stuff - but I had hoped that a writer of Tóibín's stature could have produced something similar.

Instead, he's better on the experience of twentieth-century humans. The "strange tock" from a radiator evoking the not-quite silence of modern homes. (Though were there many radiators in rural Ireland in 1967? I'm not sure this story was designed around such questions.) The moment when the professor witnesses what he has gone there to see is really lovely, and feels like the centre of the story, as it should.
The story as a whole does that thing of being really warm and likeable at the end after being okay through most of its duration I sometimes cynically wonder whether that's done to leave the reader with a higher opinion. (Before I noticed how common this was, it often changed a 3-star to a 4-star rating for me.)

It's a nice, cosy little low-fantasy ghost story in the tradition of many British children's books of the 1960s and 70s (so around the time it's set). But it also - perhaps inadvertently - dramatises an ethical dilemma inherent in archaeology and anthropology, one now most often heard about when it involves indigenous people, one I find wrenching because I feel very strongly in favour of both sides (something that I'm not sure will make sense to everybody). Modern western science wants the answers, and investigating them will be fascinating and mean it's possible to understand the past and culture and older ways of life better. But in folk and indigenous traditions, it may be integral to keeping something sacred to have it known only to a small number connected to that tradition, or precedent suggests that allowing a modern western approach to adjudicate on tradition isn't likely to produce good results (e.g. among indigenous American and Australian groups who have rejected outside research on population genetics). Tóibín makes it ostensibly uncontroversial because all the characters are Irish and in Ireland, and the professor didn't even come from the capital city. The character of the wisest prehistoric man in the tomb is roped in to essentially agree with the modern outlook - and given his location in Western Europe it makes sense, on a surface level, to show him in more ways than one as an ancestor of modern learning. By making an assumption, this creates the happy ending the story requires (or a happy-for-now ending, depending what you think about the eventual future of monuments like Newgrange), as well as reflecting a present material reality where the location seems fine.

“It was the winter secret of those who had lived thousands of years before. They must have loved the sun, or trusted it. They lured it down this corridor as though they were pulling it into the chamber by rope.”

The Shortest Day is a short story by prize-winning Irish author, Colm Toibin. It’s mid-December, and Cork archaeologist, Professor O’Kelly has already done his Christmas shopping, and safely stowed the gifts: it’s unusual, but he will be away until Christmas Eve, at Newgrange.

The profess “It was the winter secret of those who had lived thousands of years before. They must have loved the sun, or trusted it. They lured it down this corridor as though they were pulling it into the chamber by rope.”

The Shortest Day is a short story by prize-winning Irish author, Colm Toibin. It’s mid-December, and Cork archaeologist, Professor O’Kelly has already done his Christmas shopping, and safely stowed the gifts: it’s unusual, but he will be away until Christmas Eve, at Newgrange.

The professor is a man much focussed on clues and facts: “It was important, he would explain to the first-year archaeology class, not to embellish or imagine anything. The job of an archaeologist was to make known only what can be proved. The rest was idle speculation” so he would never imagine that the dead who reside in the burial chamber at Newgrange might be aware of his plan. But Dalc, the only one who can travel outside, has warned them, and there is some concern.

When the professor makes his usual stop at Lawlor’s Hotel in Naas, he wonders at the barman’s uncharacteristic gruffness. And the welcome from his landlady, Dilly Maguire, is puzzlingly unenthusiastic, a far cry from her usual effusiveness.

The souls that haunt the tomb fear that the distilled light that comes once a year, that keeps their spirits in order, will be altered by the presence of this mortal, whatever his intention. “The rays of sunshine that beamed into the chamber on the shortest day nourished them through the darkness of the year to come.”

“He is a man alive in the world,” Fios said. “He is capable of anything. We must remain apart from him. We do not want the world of time to impinge on the world we have made, we who have moved out of time.”

On the shortest day, en route to the tomb, Professor O’Kelly encounters a number of obstacles, but his fascination with the spirals cut into the stone fuels his persistence. What will he find?

This very small taste of Toibin, with humour and gorgeous prose, is a beautiful little story, wonderfully told.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Amazon Original Stories.
. more


Northern Lights Viewing

In the far north, the autumnal equinox signals peak viewing of the aurora borealis, or northern lights.

The celestial display of brilliantly colored lights happens when charged particles from the sun strike atoms in Earth’s atmosphere, causing them to light up. These light displays peak around the fall and spring, or vernal, equinox. That’s because disturbances in Earth’s atmosphere—known as geomagnetic storms𠅊re strongest at these times.


The significance of June Solstice 2020- the longest day of the year

We all love seasons! Whether it is chilly winters, scorching summers, dripping rains or the colourful spring.

But what if amidst these seasons, you get to witness the longest day of the year and that too now?

By the way, did you even know that there is a longest and the shortest day of the year? I bet most of you don&rsquot! Some might remember this as one of the topics studied in high school.

June Solstice 2020 from a science perspective!

The longest day of the year is called June solstice! It takes place from 21st to 22nd June. It is a time to celebrate summers on the northern side of the world while in the southern part, it is the beginning of winters.

All the countries or places lying in the northern zone will experience days longer than 12 hours with the beginning of the summer season. Meanwhile, the ones located in the south will witness vice-versa. During this time the north side would see early dawn and late sunsets.

There are two types of solstice which take place every year. One is the summer one and the other is the winter. The summer solstice exhibits the northern pole coming closer to the Sun while the winter solstice which is held on December 21 shows how one pole of the Earth moves further away from the Sun. Thus, the latter is called the shortest day of the year and the longest night.

It tells about the time how the people in the yesteryears understood the sky and its mechanism with the Sun.

Have you ever wondered that despite being the longest day in India during summers, it&rsquos the month of July and August which are the hottest! Such a time is called the lag in seasons. When a season takes some time to come in its complete form.

This whole phenomena in a spiritual context means accepting the change for good and adjusting with it.

Astrology & June Solstice 2020- Do they have a connection?

It marks the commencement of cancer month. Planet Sun enters the Cancer sign premises which means it is crossing the tropic of Cancer. Henceforth, it transfers its brightness, energy and liveliness to the sign.

According to astrology, the Sun represents the masculine side of the person. On the other hand, the Cancer zodiac sign rules the feminine one. The latter is governed by the emotional Moon.

Eventually, this union will bring balance in life and ignite a new bond with self.

Our body holds both such energies within us. Thus, it is the perfect time to look into ways in order to balance both masculine and feminine powers in our lives. The summer solstice is the best time to open up your mind and widen your thoughts of what it means to you.

On this day the Sun takes the longest route which results in maximum daylight. It is observed that during this time Sun is the most powerful and will promote rejuvenation and self-analysis in each one.

According to astrology, the axis during this period is considered important as it helps to find powerful angles in one&rsquos birth chart. Subsequently, they exhibit the important events in one&rsquos life. It is at this time one needs to pray to Lord Sun for a better season, events, life and time.

Even though it marks an important day in science, it also means that this day has a major role to play in terms of birth chart, prediction, events and celestial shifts.


Winter solstice 2017: Five things you should know about the shortest day of the year

Winter may just be getting started, but if you’re ready for more sunlight, you won’t have much longer to wait. December 21 is the winter solstice: the shortest day and longest night of the year here in Earth’s northern hemisphere.

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. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Winter is just getting into high gear. Learn more about the solstice and why it’s not the coldest day of the year in our scientific guide below.

1. What happens on the winter solstice?

The December solstice marks the exact moment when the sun’s most direct rays reach their southernmost point south of the equator, along the Tropic of Capricorn, at 23.5 degrees south latitude. The time and date of the solstice change slightly each year, but this year’s solstice occurs at 11:28 a.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 21.

The reason we have a solstice — and seasons — is because the Earth is tilted on its axis of rotation by about 23.5 degrees. This tilt causes each hemisphere to receive different amounts of sunlight throughout the year as our planet orbits the sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, we see the sun take its lowest and shortest path across the southern sky, and at local noon, your shadow will be the longest of the year.

The word “solstice” comes from the Latin words sol sistere, which means “sun standing still.” On the December solstice, the sun’s daily southward movement in the sky appears to pause, and we see the sun rise and set at its southernmost points on the horizon before reversing direction. It’s a yearly astronomical turning point that humans have celebrated for millennia (just think Stonehenge or the ancient Maya).

2. How many hours of daylight are there on the winter solstice?

The amount of daylight you’ll see on the solstice depends on your latitude, or distance from the equator. The map below, created by Alaska-based climatologist Brian Brettschneider, shows how widely daylight hours vary across North America on the shortest day of the year.

In the Lower 48, the sun is up for more than 10 hours across Florida and southern Texas, while states across the northern tier get under nine hours of daylight. Here in Washington, D.C., the sun is up for 9 hours 26 minutes (rising at 7:23 a.m. and setting at 4:49 p.m.).

Of course, our long winter night pales in comparison with Alaska, where the sun barely climbs above the horizon for three to four hours in much of the Last Frontier. North of the Arctic Circle — at 66.5 degrees north latitude — the sun never rises, and darkness prevails as the Earth rotates on its axis.

3. When are sunrise and sunset?

The exact times of sunrise and sunset depend on two things: your latitude and geographic location within your time zone.

Here are two maps that show the time of sunrise and sunset across North America. Both take into account the effect of time zones and latitude, hence the interesting patchwork of colors.

The first map shows sunrise times across North America. In most of the country, including the District, sunrise on the winter solstice is after 7 a.m. Golden-colored areas don’t see sunrise until after 7:30 a.m., and in green areas, the sun doesn’t rise until after 8 a.m.

The next map shows the time of sunset. Many parts of the Lower 48 see sunset before 5 p.m. on the winter solstice. In bright green areas, including much of the Pacific Northwest and New England, the sun disappears below the horizon before 4:30 in the afternoon. Parts of Maine even see sunset in the 3 o’clock hour! Only a handful of states, including Florida and Texas, see sunset after 5:30 p.m. on the shortest day of the year.

If you’re tired of these dark evenings, the good news is that our earliest sunsets are already behind us. In fact, it’s been gradually getting lighter in the evenings for more than a week now.

4. Wait a minute, the earliest sunset and latest sunrise don’t occur on the solstice?

Let’s clear the record: The winter solstice marks the shortest daylight period in the Northern Hemisphere. However, it’s never the day of the latest sunrise or earliest sunset. This astronomical quirk happens because of Earth’s 23.5-degree tilt and our elliptical orbit around the sun (read more).

You can see in this next map (and in this table) that most places see their earliest sunset two weeks before the solstice, while the latest sunrise isn’t until early January. So don’t expect brighter mornings anytime soon.

Calculated down to the second, the District’s earliest sunset (4:46 p.m.) was on Dec. 7. Meanwhile, the latest sunrise (7:27 a.m.) isn’t until Jan. 5. The closer you move to the North Pole, the closer the earliest sunset and latest sunrise occur to the solstice.

5. Why do the days still get colder after the solstice?

“As the days lengthen, the cold strengthens.” It’s an old proverb that certainly has some scientific truth. 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, as shown in this final map:

This delay in the arrival of our coldest temperatures is better known as seasonal lag. It happens because the amount of solar energy arriving at the ground is less than the amount leaving the earth for a few more weeks (a bit like a bank account that starts losing money when you make more withdrawals than deposits).

Oceans and bodies of water — which take longer than land to heat up and cool down — keep temperatures from rising very fast. Not until the Northern Hemisphere sees a net gain in solar energy (more heat coming in than going out) do average temperatures begin their ascent.

The exact timing of the coldest stretch of the year depends on several factors, including how close you live to water, prevailing wind direction and the amount of snow cover (snow is great at reflecting the sun’s heat straight back into space). You’ll notice in the map above that Western states typically see their coldest stretch of winter closer to the solstice, while areas near the Great Lakes and interior New England don’t see their coldest days until late January.

If you don’t like the cold, here’s a silver lining: Whatever the rest of winter brings, daylight is once again on the upswing. That’s definitely something to celebrate!


Contents

Although the summer solstice is the longest day of the year for that hemisphere, the dates of earliest sunrise and latest sunset vary by a few days. [9] This is because the Earth orbits the Sun in an ellipse, and its orbital speed varies slightly during the year. [4]

Although the Sun appears at its highest altitude from the viewpoint of an observer in outer space or a terrestrial observer outside tropical latitudes, the highest altitude occurs on a different day for certain locations in the tropics, specifically those where the Sun is directly overhead (maximum 90 degrees elevation) at the subsolar point. This day occurs twice each year for all locations between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn because the overhead Sun appears to cross a given latitude once before the day of the solstice and once afterward. For example, Lahaina Noon occurs in May and July in Hawaii. See solstice article. For all observers, the apparent position of the noon Sun is at its most northerly point on the June solstice and most southerly on the December solstice.

The year 2016 was the first time in nearly 70 years that a full moon and the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice occurred on the same day. [10] The 2016 summer solstice's full moon rose just as the Sun set. [11]

The significance given to the summer solstice has varied among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way with holidays, festivals, and rituals around that time with themes of religion or fertility. [12] For example, in Sweden, midsummer is one of the year's major holidays when the country closes down as much as during Christmas. In some regions, the summer solstice is seen as the beginning of summer and the end of spring. In other cultural conventions, the solstice is closer to the middle of summer. [13]

Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (Sun) and sistere (to stand still).

Winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere Edit

The following tables contain information on the length of the day on the 20th June, close to the summer solstice of the Northern Hemisphere and winter solstice of the Southern Hemisphere (i.e. June solstice). The data was collected from the website of the Finnish Meteorological Institute on 20 June 2016 [14] as well as from certain other websites. [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24]

The data is arranged geographically and within the tables from the longest day to the shortest one.

Fennoscandia and the Baltic states
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Murmansk 24 h
Bodø 24 h
Rovaniemi 24 h
Luleå 1:00 21.6.2016 0:05 23 h 04 min
Kem’ 1:44 23:42 21 h 58 min
Reykjavík 2:55 21.6.2016 0:03 21 h 08 min
Trondheim 3:02 23:37 20 h 35 min
Tórshavn 3:36 23:21 19 h 45 min
Petrozavodsk 2:55 22:33 19 h 38 min
Helsinki 3:54 22:49 18 h 55 min
Saint Petersburg 3:35 22:25 18 h 50 min
Oslo 3:53 22:43 18 h 49 min
Tallinn 4:03 22:42 18 h 39 min
Stockholm 3:30 22:07 18 h 37 min
Riga 4:29 22:21 17 h 52 min
Copenhagen 4:25 21:57 17 h 32 min
Vilnius 4:41 21:59 17 h 17 min
Europe
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Edinburgh 4:26 22:02 17 h 36 min
Moscow 3:44 21:17 17 h 33 min
Berlin 4:43 21:33 16 h 49 min
Warsaw 4:14 21:00 16 h 46 min
London 4:43 21:21 16 h 38 min
Kyiv 4:46 21:12 16 h 26 min
Paris 5:46 21:57 16 h 10 min
Vienna 4:53 20:58 16 h 04 min
Budapest 4:46 20:44 15 h 58 min
Zürich 5:29 21:25 15 h 56 min
Rome 5:34 20:48 15 h 13 min
Madrid 6:44 21:48 15 h 03 min
Lisbon 6:11 21:04 14 h 52 min
Athens 6:02 20:50 14 h 48 min
Africa
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Cairo 4:54 18:59 14 h 04 min
Tenerife 7:08 21:05 13 h 57 min
Dakar 6:41 19:41 12 h 59 min
Addis Ababa 6:07 18:46 12 h 38 min
Nairobi 6:32 18:35 12 h 02 min
Kinshasa 6:04 17:56 11 h 52 min
Dar es Salaam 6:32 18:16 11 h 43 min
Luanda 6:20 17:56 11 h 36 min
Jamestown 6:49 17:59 11 h 10 min
Antananarivo 6:21 17:21 10 h 59 min
Windhoek 6:30 17:15 10 h 44 min
Johannesburg 6:54 17:24 10 h 29 min
Cape Town 7:51 17:44 9 h 53 min
Middle East
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Tehran 5:48 20:23 14 h 34 min
Beirut 5:27 19:52 14 h 24 min
Baghdad 4:53 19:14 14 h 21 min
Jerusalem 5:33 19:47 14 h 13 min
Manama 4:45 18:32 13 h 46 min
Doha 4:44 18:26 13 h 42 min
Dubai 5:29 19:11 13 h 42 min
Riyadh 5:04 18:44 13 h 39 min
Muscat 5:19 18:55 13 h 35 min
Sana'a 5:33 18:35 13 h 02 min
Americas
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Inuvik 24 h
Fairbanks 2:57 21.6. 00:47 21 h 49 min
Nuuk 2:53 21.6. 00:03 21 h 09 min
Iqaluit 2:11 23:00 20 h 49 min
Anchorage 4:20 23:41 19 h 21 min
Kodiak 5:07 23:14 18 h 06 min
Sitka 4:06 22:00 17 h 54 min
Unalaska 6:34 23:41 17 h 06 min
Edmonton 5:04 22:07 17 h 02 min
Vancouver 5:06 21:21 16 h 14 min
Seattle 5:11 21:10 15 h 59 min
Ottawa 5:14 20:54 15 h 40 min
Toronto 5:35 21:02 15 h 26 min
New York 5:24 20:30 15 h 05 min
Washington, D.C. 5:42 20:36 14 h 53 min
Los Angeles 5:42 20:07 14 h 25 min
Miami 6:30 20:14 13 h 44 min
Havana 6:44 20:17 13 h 33 min
Honolulu 5:50 19:16 13 h 25 min
Mexico City 6:59 20:17 13 h 18 min
Managua 5:21 18:11 12 h 50 min
Bogotá 5:46 18:09 12 h 23 min
Quito 6:12 18:19 12 h 06 min
Lima 6:27 17:52 11 h 24 min
La Paz 6:59 18:08 11 h 08 min
Rio de Janeiro 6:32 17:16 10 h 43 min
São Paulo 6:47 17:28 10 h 40 min
Porto Alegre 7:20 17:32 10 h 12 min
Santiago 7:46 17:42 9 h 56 min
Buenos Aires 8:00 17:50 9 h 49 min
Ushuaia 9:58 17:11 7 h 12 min
Asia and Oceania
City Sunrise
20 June 2016
Sunset
20 June 2016
Length of the day
Provideniya 0:52 22:16 21 h 23 min
Magadan 3:37 22:19 18 h 41 min
Petropavlovsk 4:58 21:55 16 h 56 min
Khabarovsk 4:57 21:04 16 h 07 min
Ulaanbaatar 5:52 21:54 16 h 01 min
Vladivostok 5:32 20:55 15 h 22 min
Beijing 4:45 19:46 15 h 00 min
Seoul 5:11 19:56 14 h 46 min
Tokyo 4:25 19:00 14 h 34 min
Shanghai 4:50 19:01 14 h 10 min
Lhasa 6:55 20:58 14 h 03 min
Delhi 5:23 19:21 13 h 58 min
Kathmandu 5:08 19:02 13 h 53 min
Taipei 5:04 18:46 13 h 41 min
Hong Kong 5:39 19:09 13 h 30 min
Manila 5:27 18:27 12 h 59 min
Bangkok 5:51 18:47 12 h 56 min
Singapore 7:00 19:12 12 h 11 min
Jakarta 6:01 17:47 11 h 45 min
Darwin 7:06 18:29 11 h 23 min
Papeete 6:27 17:32 11 h 04 min
Sydney 6:59 16:53 9 h 53 min
Auckland 7:33 17:11 9 h 37 min
Melbourne 7:35 17:07 9 h 32 min
Dunedin 8:19 16:59 8 h 39 min

Length of day increases from the equator towards the North Pole in the Northern Hemisphere in June (around the summer solstice there), but decreases towards the South Pole in the Southern Hemisphere at the time of the southern winter solstice.


Jake's Nature Blog

The shortest day of the year.

Winter solstice happens on December 21st throughout the northern hemisphere. This shortest day of the year is celebrated throughout the world.

What do you actually know about the day in the northern hemisphere with the shortest amount of sunlight? I didn’t know a lot about it, except for the fact that it is the shortest day of the year. In light of my lack of knowledge I did some research on it and I want to share my findings here with you. Maybe you can join the people throughout the world that celebrate this day?

What Is The Winter Solstice?

The Earth rotates around the sun not standing perfectly vertically, but slightly tilted. The Earth is tilted at about 23 degrees. This tilt of the Earth is what causes the seasons and makes for the longest and shortest days of the year. For example, when the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun it is summer and when titled away it is winter.

The December solstice is the point at which the tilt of the earth is farthest away from the sun for the northern hemisphere. This creates the shortest day of the year for those in the northern hemisphere. After this day, the amount of daylight each day increases little by little.

Fun Fact – Check out your shadow at noon. This is the longest your shadow will be all year long because this is the furthest south the sun will be in the sky. After this, the sun will gradually move back north, making shadows shorter.

Stonehenge is a popular spot to celebrate the winter solstice.

Why Is It Celebrated?

There is a tradition of old cultures celebrating the winter solstice because the following day is the beginning of the days getting longer and marks a new sun. Huge crowds show up to celebrate at Stonehenge in Britain.

What Does Winter Solstice Mean For Animals?

Plants and animals live their lives in a more natural harmony with the world. They have internal rhythms that help them know when to migrate, hibernate, and such. Their bodies know when to do these things due to the amount of sunlight in a day, and their instincts among other things.

Animals in the northern hemisphere may not celebrate or even notice that it is the shortest day of the year. However, over time they will be aware that the days are beginning to grow longer and eventually they may migrate or come out of hibernation once the days are long enough.

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