About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

What is winter solstice?

The tip of Earth's axis causes the northern hemisphere in winter
to face away from the sun and toward it in summer. Credit: NASA
Is anyone else tired of it being dark at 4pm? Don’t worry, the winter solstice is this week and for everyone in the northern hemisphere that means the days will start to get longer.

The first day of winter or the December solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year when the sun's daily maximum elevation in the sky is the lowest.

Depending on the shift of the calendar, the winter solstice usually occurs on December 21 to 23 each year in the Northern Hemisphere, and June 20 to 23 in the Southern Hemisphere.

Winter Solstice celebrates the birth of the new Solar year and the beginning of winter. Cultures around the world have had celebrations of rebirth for centuries at this time of year.

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