Winter solstice signals start of season


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The official start to winter occurs with the winter solstice. The solstice happens when the sun is shining directly above its most southern point in the sky. This most southern point is the Tropic of Capricorn at -23.4° latitude. This astronomical event occurs this year on Saturday, December 21 at 11:19 pm. Don’t forget, though, it’s not the sun that is moving in the sky.  The solstice comes about due to the Earth’s tilt on its axis and our planet’s orbital path around the sun. At the time of the solstice, our hemisphere, the Northern Hemisphere, is tilted farthest away from the sun and our colder season is firmly in place. The Southern Hemisphere receives the strongest rays of the sun during this time of year and is experiencing summer.

With the sun at its most southern point, we end up with our shortest amount of daylight all year (9 hours, 12 minutes, 58 seconds). However, you should know that the solstice does not bring our latest sunrise or earliest sunset.

In Fort Wayne, the latest sunrise happened on Saturday, November 2 at 8:12:28 AM. and the earliest sunset occurred on Sunday, December 8 at 5:11:51 PM.

From the winter solstice onward, our daily amounts of daylight will gradually increase until the summer solstice on Saturday, June 20, 2020.

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