Winter Solstice Occurs Friday

Posted by Zotta Rendevouz

This weeks time, the sun will arrive at that point where it will appear to glow furthest to the lower of the equator, labels when of winter months season solstice a887 black — the least day of 2011 in the Southern area Hemisphere.

The winter solstice occurs Friday at 12:30 a.m. EST (0530 GMT), which compares to to 9:30 p.m. PST on Friday for experts further western side. At the time, the sun will be moving past over the over the Tropic of Capricorn.

Here's how northern winter weather solstice a887 black works: Since May 20, the elevation of the afternoon sun has been decreasing as its immediate light have been progressively moving to the lower. The sun's elevation above the skyline at noontime is 47 certifications cheaper now, when in comparison to six months ago. As we often refer to, your clenched fists used at arm's duration methods approximately 10 certifications, so the sun at afternoon is now nearly "five fists" cheaper in the lower sky when in comparison to May 21.

Ancient skywatchers had no understanding of this movement of the sun. They thought this celestial machinery might break down someday, and the sun would continue southward, never to return. As such, the lowering of the sun was cause for fear and wonder.

As "armistice" is defined as a staying of the action of arms, "solstice" is a staying of the sun's apparent motion over the latitudes of the Earth. At the summer solstice, the sun stops its northward motion and begins heading south. At the winter solstice, it turns north.

Technically, at one minute past the moment of the solstice, the sun has turned around and started north. It will cross the equator at the vernal equinox, passing into the Northern Hemisphere on March 20, at 1:14 a.m. EDT (or on the calendar date of March 19 for those living in the Mountain and Pacific Time Zones).

When the ancients saw the sun stop and slowly climb to a higher midday location, people rejoiced; here was a promise that spring would return. Most cultures had winter solstice celebrations and some adapted it to other events.

In Persia, the solstice marked the birthday of Mithra, the Sun King. In ancient times, Dec. 25 was the date of the lavish Roman festival of Saturnalia, a sort of bacchanalian thanksgiving. Saturnalia was celebrated around the time of the winter solstice. And in 275 A.D., the Roman Emperor, Aurelian, commemorated a feast day coinciding with the winter solstice: Die Natalis Invicti Solis ("The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun").

Among the many varied customs linked with this special season for thousands of years, the exchanging of gifts is almost universal. Mother Nature herself offers the sky observer in north temperate latitudes the two gifts of longest nights and a sky more transparent than usual.

One reason for the clarity of a winter's night is that cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air can. Hence, on many nights in the summer, the warm moisture-laden atmosphere causes the sky to appear hazier.

By day it is a milky, washed-out blue, which in winter becomes a richer, deeper and darker shade of blue. For observers in northern locations, this only adds more luster to that part of the sky containing the beautiful wintertime constellations.

Indeed, the brilliant stars and constellations that now adorn our evening sky, such as Sirius, Orion, Capella, Taurus and many others is seemingly Nature's holiday decoration to commemorate the winter solstice and enlighten the long cold nights of winter.