Winter Solstice (add your own)
#21


        A solstice, exact in her ways,
        Tried to carefully balance her days.
        The hours complied,
        But not so the tide;
        The moon, it seemed, she couldn't phase.



Some questions and answers copied from EarthSky:

When is the solstice where I live?
The solstice happens at the same instant for all of us, everywhere on Earth. In 2017,
the December solstice comes on December 21 at 10:28 a.m. CST. That’s on December 21
at 16:28 Universal Time. It’s when the sun on our sky’s dome reaches its farthest
southward point for the year. At this solstice, the Northern Hemisphere has its shortest
day and longest night of the year.

To find the time in your location, you have to translate to your time zone. Click here to
translate Universal Time to your local time.
http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/universal-time

Just remember: you’re translating from 16:28 UT on December 21. For example, if you
live in Perth, Australia, you need to add 8 hours to Universal Time to find out that the
solstice happens on December 22, at 12:28 a.m. AWST (Australian Western Standard Time).
Why do all our seasons have different lengths?

Lengths of the current astronomical seasons:

December solstice to March equinox: 88.99 days
March equinox to June solstice: 92.76 days
June solstice to September equinox: 93.65 days
September equinox to December solstice: 89.84 days

The 2017 December solstice will come on the December 21 at 16:28 UTC. That’s 10:28 a.m. on
December 21, for those in the central time zone in North America. It’s when the sun reaches
its southernmost point for the year. This solstice marks the beginning of the winter season in
the Northern Hemisphere, and the start of the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere.
And, no matter where you are on Earth, it marks the beginning of your shortest season.

By season, we mean the time between a solstice and an equinox, or vice versa. The upcoming
season – between the December solstice and March equinox – is a touch shy of 89 days.

Contrast the number of days of the upcoming season with that of the longest season, a Northern
Hemisphere summer or Southern Hemisphere winter. The longest season as measured from the
June solstice to the September equinox lasts 93.65 days.

Why is the upcoming season nearly 5 days shorter? Every year in early January, the Earth
swings closest to the sun for the year. Because Earth is nearest the sun at this time, Earth
moves most swiftly in its orbit. That’s why a Northern Hemisphere winter or Southern
Hemisphere summer is the shortest of the four seasons.

On the other hand, in early July, Earth is farthest from the sun and moving most slowly in its orbit.

According to computational wizard Jean Meeus, a Northern Hemisphere winter or Southern
Hemisphere summer became the shortest season after the year 1246. The astronomical season
between the December solstice and the March equinox will reach a minimum value of 88.71 days
around the year 3500, and will continue to reign as the shortest season until about 6430.
Why doesn’t the earliest sunset come on the shortest day?
The December solstice marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere
and longest day in the Southern Hemisphere. But the earliest sunset – or earliest sunrise
if you’re south of the equator – happens before the December solstice.

The key to understanding the earliest sunset is not to focus on the time of sunset or sunrise.
The key is to focus on what is called true solar noon – the time of day that the sun reaches its
highest point, in its journey across your sky.

In early December, true solar noon comes nearly 10 minutes earlier by the clock than it does
at the solstice around December 22. With true noon coming later on the solstice, so will the
sunrise and sunset times.

It’s this discrepancy between clock time and sun time that causes the Northern Hemisphere’s
earliest sunset and the Southern Hemisphere’s earliest sunrise to precede the December solstice.

The discrepancy occurs primarily because of the tilt of the Earth’s axis. A secondary but
another contributing factor to this discrepancy between clock noon and sun noon comes
from the Earth’s elliptical – oblong – orbit around the sun. The Earth’s orbit is not a perfect
circle, and when we’re closest to the sun, our world moves fastest in orbit. Our closest
point to the sun – or perihelion – comes in early January. So we are moving fastest in
orbit around now, slightly faster than our average speed of about 30 kilometers (18.5 miles)
per second. The discrepancy between sun time and clock time is greater around the December
solstice than the June solstice because we’re nearer the sun at this time of year.


The precise date of the earliest sunset depends on your latitude. At mid-northern latitudes,
it comes in early December each year. At northern temperate latitudes farther north – such
as in Canada and Alaska – the year’s earliest sunset comes around mid-December. Close to
the Arctic Circle, the earliest sunset and the December solstice occur on or near the same day.

By the way, the latest sunrise doesn’t come on the solstice either. From mid-northern latitudes,
the latest sunrise comes in early January.

The exact dates vary, but the sequence is always the same: earliest sunset in early December,
shortest day on the solstice around December 21, latest sunrise in early January.

And so the cycle continues.

Bottom line: In 2017, the December solstice comes on December 21 at 10:28 a.m. CST. That’s
December 21 at 16:28 UTC. It marks the Northern Hemisphere’s shortest day (first day of
winter) and Southern Hemisphere’s longest day (first day of summer).
almost terse
Reply
#22
autumn ends
and winter starts
in heaven; on earth,
none start
while all end
Reply
#23
Snowbird

she could never abide
our winters,

but summer 
was never

more far away
Reply
#24
Seasons

We ask for change.
When it comes
we ask again.
Reply
#25
Revised from 2015:

Being autumnal equinox
born, between
longest and shortest,
I'm always torn.

With less light
coming, and more light
leaving, I think it's just right
that I'm breaking even.
Reply




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