Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice: Welcoming Back the Sun

December 21 is the official first day of winter, but winter has blanketed Central Oregon for over a month. The 17" snowfall last week was like a homecoming party for the season. That's OK, I like winter.

But for those that don't, over the next couple of days, here in the Northern Hemisphere, we'll have the shortest periods of daylight for the year. These aren't the "shortest days," the 24-hour clock is still on, but these days are more about darkness than light.

Today is also the winter solstice, a time when the sun reaches 23.5 degrees south latitude or directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. The sun will stay at this point for several days, then the Earth's orbital pathway will start to bring the sun back to our northern latitudes. So today is a welcoming of winter, a welcoming of the darkness and a welcoming of the return of light that is soon to initiate.


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