The shortest day in what feels like the longest year has arrived. Monday is the Winter Solstice, the day each year when there is the least amount of sunshine in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Winter Solstice is the official first day of winter, which lasts until March 20, 2021. It’s when the sun appears at its most southern position in the sky.
If it has felt like the world has been getting darker and darker the last six months, that’s because it kind of has been. As the sun spent less and less time shining on the Northern Hemisphere.
The closer a person is to the North Pole, the less time they will see the sun. People in Nome, Alaska will only have roughly 3 hours and 54 minutes of sunshine on Monday.
There will now begin to be slightly more daylight each day until the Summer Solstice, which is on June 20, 2021.
In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite: it’s the day each year with the most sunshine and marks the beginning of summer in places like Australia, Argentina and South Africa.
Many traditional celebrations on the solstice were canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Including at the world famous Stonehenge, where there is usually a large annual celebration on the solstices.