When is winter solstice in 2023? Know all about the shortest day of year

Calling all stargazers! As the northern hemisphere welcomes winter with the approaching winter solstice, there’s an exciting celestial event in store for sky enthusiasts. The upcoming winter solstice sky will feature a spectacular alignment: the close proximity of Jupiter and the Moon, providing a captivating sight for observers. In the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice officially ushers in a new season, while in the southern hemisphere, it marks the arrival of the summer solstice. The tilt of the Earth’s axis provides an answer to this apparent paradox. Understanding this astronomical event helps us to understand the changing brightness of the Sun, the cyclical pattern of the seasons, and how the workings of our planet’s orbit affect life on Earth. Scroll down to learn more about this extraordinary phenomenon.

Delve into the details of when the winter solstice will occur in 2023 and unravel the significance of this celestial event.(shutterstock)

What is the winter solstice?

The Earth is tilted 23.4 degrees on its axis, so if the Earth’s pole is pointing towards or away from the Sun during the day, the arc the Sun travels through will rise and fall during the year. The northern hemisphere minimum, or when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky, is the winter solstice. Due to the current orientation of the Earth’s North Pole away from the Sun, the Northern Hemisphere experiences significantly lower temperatures. People in the southern hemisphere live in summertime ‘down under’ because the South Pole points towards the sun.

Stay tuned with breaking news on HT Channel on Facebook. Join Now

Why it’s called the shortest day of the year?

The point in the sky where the sun’s path is furthest south is called the winter solstice, also known as the December solstice. The day of the year with the least amount of sunlight, and therefore the longest night, is the winter solstice when the sun reaches its shortest path across the sky.

According to a NASA resource, the days get progressively shorter until the winter solstice, which falls on the evening of 21 or 22 December, marking the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere each year. From there, the days get longer and longer until the summer solstice, also known as the June solstice, which is the longest day of the year.

What does ‘solstice’ mean?

The Latin word “solstitium”, meaning “the sun stands still”, is the origin of the word “solstice”, referring to the apparent pause in the sun’s journey before it changes direction. On the winter solstice, the sun appears to be at its most southerly position against the background of the stars.

When is winter solstice 2023?

The winter solstice falls on December 21 or 22, this year. At 10:27 PM (EST) on December 21, 2023, the winter solstice will be celebrated. The winter solstice will be observed in India on December 22 at 8:57 AM. The shortest day of the year will occur in the Northern Hemisphere during the day, with roughly 7 hours and 14 minutes of daylight. Then, on December 22, Earth’s axis will be designated as the one that is furthest from the sun. This indicates that compared to the summer solstice, the winter solstice’s day is 8 hours, 49 minutes shorter.

How to watch winter solstice 2023?

The waxing gibbous moon will be visible to the right of Jupiter, the brightest planet in the evening sky, on the solstice. As dusk falls, look high above the southeastern horizon to see them shine together. If you’re new to skywatching, a decent small telescope or pair of binoculars could help you make the most of Jupiter and the moon’s nightly dance. There’s another chance on Friday 22 December, when the moon will have moved to the left of Jupiter if you missed it. It’s also the peak of the annual Ursid meteor shower, although the bright moon will make it almost impossible to spot the shower’s meagre five to ten ‘shooting stars’ per hour.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *