Winter solstice 2017: It's the shortest day of the year

5,000yo Irish tomb’s winter solstice magic to be livestreamed

Winter solstice arrives 11:28 a.m. At the same time, the planet is traveling on a yearly stroll around the sun.

This year, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Thursday, December 21 at 5:28 ET in the US, or 16:28 UTC.

Earth has a tilt of about 23.5 degrees and as it moves around the Sun, the Northern and Southern hemispheres face opposite directions.

Solstices and equinoxes are often viewed as spiritual timesWhat's the difference between a solstice and an equinox?

The short day length is created as the earth orbits the sun.

The term solstice literally means "sun stands still".

The Sun reported that hundreds of people gather at Stonehenge in England for the winter solstice, gathering in the early morning to watch the sun rise over the stones.

According to the US Naval Observatory, using Saginaw as our reference point, our sunrise for today is around 8:05 AM and our sunset time is 5:03 PM.

This is because the tilt of the Earth's axis is least aligned with the sun, providing us with the least daylight of the year. On Dec. 22, we get a whopping 2 seconds more daylight than Dec. 21.

People flock to Stonehenge to celebrate the winter solstice every year What happens at Stonehenge on the winter solstice?

In Japan, this is an especially sacred time of the year for famers, as the sun returns to help their crops grow after the long winter. That is the turning point of summer and the longer day of the year. Here in Lexington we will see nine hours and 31 minutes of daylight.

Google is welcoming the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere with a new Doodle.

This delay in the arrival of our coldest temperatures is better known as seasonal lag. This tilt is the cause of Earth's seasons.

"It's lovely man we got up there and it started dumping powder on us and had a great day of skiing", said resident Travis Schloosher.

You may have noticed two special lines of latitude on a globe of the world: One in the Northern Hemisphere called the Tropic of Cancer at +23.5° latitude and one in the Southern Hemisphere called the Tropic of Capricorn at - 23.5° latitude.

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