It is time to bid farewell to the fall in northern hemisphere and welcome the winters. For people living in southern hemisphere, replace fall by spring and winters by summers. The winter solstice is on December 22 at 22:09 GMT (3:35 IST). Here are 5 things to know.
1: A solstice marks that day of the year when the Sun shines directly over the Tropic of Cancer (summer solstice) or the Tropic of Capricorn (winter solstice). The term ‘solstice’ is derived from two Latin words “sol” which means sun, and “sistere”, meaning standstill. The Sun seems to stand still in the winter sky, marking the shortest day and longest night of the year.
2: This is the day of the year when the Sun’s annual path through the constellations of the zodiac reaches its most southerly point in the sky, in the constellation of Capricornus at a declination of 23.5°S. From hereon, the Sun’s apparent position will move towards north.
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3: The December Solstice marks the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere and the first day of summers in the southern. The days will start getting longer than the nights from this day and the duration of the two will become equal on the spring equinox in March.
4: The length of day (in New Delhi) will be 10 hours and 19 minutes and the night will be 13 hours 41 minutes long.
5: The December Solstice of 2018 is special because it will be accompanied by the Ursid Meteor Shower and a full moon.