Today's Google Doodle is an Ode to the Winter Solstice

The phenomenon occurs if skies are clear at dawn on the shortest days of the year from 18 December to 23 December

The phenomenon occurs if skies are clear at dawn on the shortest days of the year from 18 December to 23 December

Winter is just getting into high gear.

This happens twice a year, mid-way between the summer and winter solstices, on March 21 and September 23. The time and date of the solstice change slightly each year, but this year's solstice occurs at 11:28 a.m. On Dec. 22, we get a whopping 2 seconds more daylight than Dec. 21.

While the northern hemisphere is experiencing it's shortest day, the southern hemisphere is basking in sunshine and enjoying the first day of summer. This Neolithic monument's passage and its three chambers align with the rising sun on winter solstice. On the day of the solstice, the sun stops its southerly migration and appears to rise in the same spot for a few days (sun stands still).

Over the years, ancient cultures from Europe to the Americas have developed customs and rituals to revel in the journey toward summer and warmer days. There will be just more than 10 hours and two minutes of daylight in the city of Savannah; similar lengths for surrounding areas.

The Equinox features equal day and equal night hours.

With the celestial body's rays cast on the distant Tropic of Capricorn while the North Pole lies cloaked in shadow, the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere find themselves doomed to several months of long dark nights and low temperatures. The good news is starting tomorrow the days will be getting longer. The kitchen is ablaze with so many strings of colourful lights I can cook supper by them. Tomorrow it will be at 4:44 p.m.

In the mid-latitudes, the winter solstice is commonly referred to as the "shortest day of the year" because it has the least amount of daylight.

All this means the United Kingdom experienced a late sunrise at 8.04am this morning and will see an early sunset at 3.53pm this afternoon.

The winter solstice occurs at the moment the Earth's tilt away from the sun is at a maximum. It's an old proverb that certainly has some scientific truth.

The organisers of the event write on their website: "The Winter Solstice is the most important day of the year at Stonehenge and a truly magical time to be there". "This effect, called 'the lag of the seasons, ' is similar to how when you turn down the heat while you're cooking - the pot won't immediately reach its coolest temperature".

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