HomeSudbury News

Days are getting longer as winter solstice passes

By: Sudbury Northern Life Staff

 | Dec 22, 2013 - 6:32 PM |

Two more seconds of sun Sunday will lead to seven more hours in June

The sun rose at 8:06 on the morning of Dec. 22, and set at 4:40 p.m., a fact remarkable only because it represents a slightly longer day than the previous day.
In fact, Dec. 22 was only a few seconds longer, but thanks to the Winter Solstice on Saturday, it begins the welcome march not only to spring, but to longer periods of sunlight. There was eight hours, 34 minutes and 24 seconds of daylight Sunday, two seconds longer than Dec. 21.

Next week, days will be almost two minutes longer and by June 21, we'll be enjoying 15 ½ hours of daylight. That's when the Summer Solstice starts and the cycle begins again.

The effect is caused by the Earth's rotation on its axis, which causes the northern portion of the planet to tilt away from the sun in winter, and toward it in summer. Because the sun tilts further and further away from the northern or southern hemisphere, depending on the season, the days grow longer or shorter.

That's why the north and south poles are completely dark or receive constant sunshine for extended periods in winter and summer.

“Because Earth doesn’t orbit upright, but is instead tilted on its axis by 23 1/2 degrees, Earth’s northern and southern hemispheres trade places in receiving the sun’s light and warmth most directly,” according to information from the website earthsky.org. “The tilt of the Earth – not our distance from the sun – is what causes winter and summer. At the December solstice, the northern hemisphere is leaning most away from the sun for the year.”

At the December solstice, all locations south of the equator have day lengths greater than 12 hours. Meanwhile, all locations north of the equator have day lengths less than 12 hours. 

Reader's Feedback

NorthernLife.ca may contain content submitted by readers, usually in the form of article comments. All reader comments and any opinions, advice, statements or other information contained in any messages posted or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not of NorthernLife.ca. The fact that a particular message is posted on or transmitted using this web site does not mean that NorthernLife.ca has endorsed that message in any way or verified the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message. We encourage visitors to NorthernLife.ca to report any objectionable content by using the "report abuse" link found in the comments section of this web site. Comment Guidelines


comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular

Local Business Directory