Short Post On The Shortest Day

Celebrating the winter solstice

The sun rose in East Greenwich at 7:10 this morning, but the real solar event happened almost an hour earlier. At 6:12 a.m., the winter solstice occurred. Today is the shortest day of the year.

Solstice is a great word because its Latin roots give poetic explanation to a planetary ballet. The sun (sol) appears to stand still (sistere) each December 21st or 22nd as it reaches the southernmost part in our sky. Then it reverses direction and starts an inexorable trek northward, culminating with summer solstice in June. I remember trying to explain this phenomenon to my kids with an orange and a grapefruit. Good thing they had science teachers.

It's raining today, but that shouldn't dampen the celebration. Tomorrow, we gain three seconds of daylight; on Sunday, seven. Break out the SPF 30 and hum the Beatles classic: Sun, sun, sun, here it comes…

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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