This was taken a few years back on the Boulevard Park pathway. Every year about this time, people begin to take the time to decorate the trees and delight all the people who walk in the park. I always love to see what's available every year. This morning when I walked from home to the bus, I saw, before daybreak, plenty of colorful lights newly added to homes around here. Our days are getting shorter and shorter, as we move towards the longest night and shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, known as the Winter Solstice.
Some facts about the Winter Solstice, which will occur at 2:02am on December 21st in 2020 (snagged from the Time and Date website):
- Most people count the whole day as the December Solstice. However, the Solstice is actually at a specific moment — when the Sun is exactly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn. (I didn't know that.)
- The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning 'the Sun stands still'. This is because on this day, the Sun reaches its southern-most position as seen from the Earth. The Sun seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction. It's also common to call it the day the Sun turns around.
- Most places in the Northern Hemisphere see their earliest sunset a few days before the Solstice and their latest sunrise a few days after the Solstice. This happens because of the difference between how we measure time using watches and the time measured by a sundial.
There are many more interesting things to learn about the Winter Solstice on that website. It's one of my favorite places to visit to learn more about astronomy.
We are rapidly approaching our Summer Solstice and, like you, I didn't know that it occurs at a specific moment rather than the day. It makes sense and thanks for that.ReplyDelete
How very interesting...off to visit the site !ReplyDelete
I so enjoy seeing twinkling lights especially in the blue dawn.
Thank you for sharing DJan, I hope you are staying well.
I never noticed any of this while growing up. But I can see the sun change its position now. I see our days getting shorter too, even in Hawaii.ReplyDelete
I used to get the magazine ASTROMONY delivered. I too love to read on the subject. I bet the walk to your bus stop gets prettier & prettier each day!ReplyDelete
Interesting! I love the community decorating in your part of town.ReplyDelete
The winter solstice has always been an important day in human history, It is why we celebrate Christmas when we do in the northern hemisphere.ReplyDelete
Two weeks and we will move toward the light slowly again. It was cloudy all day so dark descended at 4 PM...I don't like itReplyDelete
I will be glad to be on the other side of the solstice.ReplyDelete
I have noticed for many years that the latest our sun sets is 4:23 PM about Nov. 5. It stays that way for about 10 days and then sunset starts to get later. Meanwhile The sun comes up later each morning until about Jan. 5. Now I know why!ReplyDelete
What a genuinely nifty idea, locals decorating a park, I love it. Interesting about the 'solstice moment' too, I didn't know that! I'm already anxious for the longer days to return. I'd like to know why we still have Daylight Savings Time... darkness at a little past 5 has never seemed natural to me and now I'm just rambling on...ReplyDelete
The sun spends a lot of time near Capricorn as it has to slowly get there and slowly retreat, so those long nights go on for rather a long time.ReplyDelete
Interesting. I used to belong to FIFA, an astronomy club affiliated with the University of Hawaii, which hosted lectures by various astronomers.ReplyDelete
Pretty park decorations. :)ReplyDelete
How nice that the locals decorate the park and particularly in this troubled year. Glad it is still happening.ReplyDelete
Did not know any of those facts about the solstice. Thanks for the enlightenment (pun intended.)
DJan, I think Dec.21st is also the date that Saturn and Jupiter will be close together. This alignment is called "The Christmas Star"... and should be visible around sunset all Christmas week.ReplyDelete
More and more people have decorated the outside of their houses this year. The theory is that due to Covid we cannot invite people inside so they are showing off their creative skills outside. It brightens the neighbourhood.ReplyDelete