Happy December Solstice!
Did you know that the December Solstice represents two different things depending on what hemisphere you’re located in! In the Northern Hemisphere it is known as the Winter Solstice, while in the Southern Hemisphere it is known as the Summer Solstice!
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice represents the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. While in the Southern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice represents the first day of summer and the longest day of the year! This is because the equinoxes and solstices are opposite on the opposite sides of the planet! How cool is that! Here are some more interesting facts about the December Solstice:
1. The sun on the December Solstice shines directly over the Tropic of Capricorn (latitude 23° 30′ South) in the Southern Hemisphere.
2. The December Solstice can occur from the dates of December 20-December 23, however falling on the 20th or the 23rd day of the month is extremely rare.
3. The last time the December Solstice fell on December 23rd was in the year 1903 and it will not happen again until the year 2303!
4. The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning ‘the Sun stands still’. During the December Solstice, the Sun reaches its most southern position as seen from Earth and appears to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction.
5. People tend to say that during the Winter Solstice the Earth is furthest from the Sun, however this is a MYTH! During the Winter Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere is actually closest to the sun!
So what do you think? Are you excited for the December Solstice to mark either the first day of winter or the first day of summer depending on your geographic location? Comment in the conversation bubble located on the top right corner of your screen and let us know!