The Winter Solstice

Distribute an article that explains the winter solstice.
Grades:
3 |
4 |
5
Subjects:
Science (4,734)

Earth Science (1,176)

Seasons (144)

Themes:

Space (471)

Winter (46)

In astronomy, the solstice is either of the two times a year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator, the great circle on the celestial sphere that is on the same plane as the earth's equator. In the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice occurs either December 21 or 22, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn; the summer solstice occurs either June 21 or 22, when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Cancer. In the southern hemisphere, the winter and summer solstices are reversed.

The reason for the different seasons at opposite times of the year in the two hemispheres is that while the earth rotates about the sun, it also spins on its axis, which is tilted some 23.5 degrees towards the plane of its rotation. Because of this tilt, the northern hemisphere receives less direct sunlight (creating winter) while the southern hemisphere receives more direct sunlight (creating summer). As the earth continues its orbit the hemisphere that is angled closest to the sun changes and the seasons are reversed.

The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, and its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice. Hence the origin of the word solstice, which comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, "sun"
and -stitium, "a stoppage." Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter.

Your Free Gift

Take Back Your Evenings: Top 5 Strategies for Work/Life Balance

It can be difficult to have a life outside of school when you let the demands of teaching take over every moment of your day. This workbook includes the top 5 strategies to help you take back your evenings while still being a great teacher.

Start a free trial today to get your work/life balance strategies workbook absolutely free (a $19.99 value)!

CLAIM YOUR FREE GIFT

take your evenings back workbook

 

Special Offer: Get 50% off unlimited, ad-free access

Use special offer code 2020 at checkout to get half off a premium membership of full access and unlimited downloads.

Get Started

Select from a monthly, annual, or 2-year membership plan. All plans include a 7-day trial. Cancel anytime.
Learn more about Premium