Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What is solstice?

This announcement has been popping up on the weather channel these past few days.

Winter Solstice. Winter officially starts on Wednesday, December 21st at 12:35 PM CST.

Ryan asked me this morning, “Mommy, what is solstice?”

“We have the shortest day of the year on winter solstice. On the other hand, we have the longest day on the summer solstice.”

Another screen popped out on the TV.

Sunrise: 8:35 AM. Sunset: 4:30 PM

“See,” I explained further. “We’ll have only about eight hours of daylight today.”

But the good news is that the days will gradually get longer after today.

According to, solstice means:

1. Either of two times of the year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator. The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs about June 21, when the sun is in the zenith at the tropic of Cancer; the winter solstice occurs about December 21, when the sun is over the tropic of Capricorn. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the winter solstice is the shortest.

2. A highest point or culmination.

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