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Winter is here! Solstice marks shortest day of year

23 December 2017

The tilt of the Earth - not our distance from the sun - is what causes winter and summer. We're here to answer all your questions! During the Northern Hemisphere's winter, the land north of the equator is tilted away from the sun, which lowers the amount of the sun's energy warming the Northern Hemisphere. The 21st is the shortest day of the year with only 9 hours, 12 minutes and 52 seconds of daylight. However, that's not the case for everyone.

Summer is coming. For the past six years, the Twitter account Here Comes the Sun has tracked the growing daylight from the winter solstice up to the spring equinox.

When does the winter solstice occur? Meteorologists at the Weather Channel argue that winter should actually start December 1, representing the four coldest months in the northern hemisphere. "Around the time of the December solstice, it's your longest noontime shadow of the year".

You can check the precise times in your area using this sunset calendar. Chicago will see its sun set at 4:23 p.m. and will experience nine hours and eight minutes of daylight. There are two solstices a year.

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Although the solstice marks the shortest day, it's usually not the coldest day of the year. The coldest days of the year won't happen until January or February. "This effect, called 'the lag of the seasons, ' is similar to how when you turn down the heat while you're cooking - the pot won't immediately reach its coolest temperature". So, when is it in 2017, how long will the day be, and what does it mean? This will give us our longest day.

Exactly How Short Will The Day Be?

After the solstice, the days slowly start to get longer again.

EarthSky said: "You might notice how low the sun appears in the sky at local noon".

However, most locations don't have their earliest sunset or latest sunrise on the solstice.

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What does all of this have to do with Stonehenge?

"It's an ad hoc celebration that brings together England's New Age Tribes (neo-druids, neo-pagans, Wiccans) with ordinary families, tourists, travelers and party people - 100's of them!"

For thousands of years, people have taken part in rituals to mark the occasion. "Ancient structures that allow you to track the shifting position of the sun between its extremes are found all over the world".

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Winter is here! Solstice marks shortest day of year