Winter Solstice 2010

Winter Officially Begins Today:


The winter solstice will occur today at 638 PM EST (538 PM CST).  The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year.  While the winter solstice marks the beginning of the winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it marks the beginning of the summer in the Southern Hemisphere.  The solstice occurs when the sun is located directly over the Tropic of Capricorn which is located at 23.5 degrees south of the equator.


The Solstice Explained:


The Earth makes one complete revolution of its orbit around the sun every 365 days.  On average...the distance from the Sun to the Earth is about 93 million miles.  The seasons that we observere here on Earth are caused by the Earth tilting on its axis by 23.5 degrees.  During the summer the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun with the sun reaching 23.5 degrees north latitude around June 20.  Around December 20, the Southern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun with the sun reaching 23.5 degree south latitude.  The graphic below illustrates this.


With the Southern Hemisphere tilted toward the sun, locations north of 66.5 degrees north latitude (Arctic Circle) are in complete darkness, while locations south of 66.5 degree south latitude have daylight 24 hours a day.

Here are sunrise/sunset times for select locations in our area for today:

Louisville, KY sunrise: 756 AM EST     Sunset: 526 PM EST

Lexington, KY sunrise: 751 AM EST      Sunset: 522 PM EST

Bowling Green, KY sunrise: 655 AM CST    Sunset: 433 PM CST

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