The Winter Solstice will began at 11:28 am, Thursday December 21. It will mark the shortest amount of sunlight hitting the Northern Hemisphere this year. The solstice is caused by the tilting and rotation of the earth. Academics explain the solstice this way, ” The axial tilt of Earth and gyroscopic effects of its daily rotation mean that the two opposite points in the sky to which the Earth’s axis of rotation points (axial precession) change very slowly (making a complete circle approximately every 26,000 years)… yada, yada yada.” Here is a short video for people like me:
The longest night in Earth’s history occurred on December 21, 1912, when the sun rose in the Washington DC area at 7:44 am and set at 4:33 pm, giving them 8 hours and 49 minutes of day light. The 2017 Winter solstice in the Washington DC area will see sunrise at 7:27 am and sunset at 4:49 pm giving us 9 hours and 20 minutes of day light. The 23.5 degree angle the video talks about will occur at 11:28 am. The Summer solstice will happen on June 21, 2018. It is the exact opposite of the Winter solstice, and instead of the longest night, we will see the longest day. The sun will rise at 5:44 am and set at 8:42 pm, giving us 14 hours and 58 minutes of daylight.