Winter Solstice 2011

The sun, nearing winter solstice, travels low across the sky in a multiple-exposure picture made in Maine in 2002.This year, the winter solstice takes place on Thursday, Dec. 22 at 12:30 a.m. EST. The winter solstice marks the day when winter officially starts in the Northern Hemisphere and when days start to become incrementally longer. Do you understand why this happens? Find out at the Chandra website and then incorporate the information into the NES lessons Heat Transfer: MESSENGER — My Angle on Cooling (grades 5-8), Analyzing Solar Energy Graphs: MY NASA DATA (grades 9-12), and Temperature and Earth Climate: Modeling Hot and Cold Planets (grades 7-9).

9 thoughts on “Winter Solstice 2011”

  1. The Chandra blog has the solstice taking place at 12:30 p.m. and this site has it at 12:30 a.m. Which one is it? I ask because I want to tell my children the correct time.

  2. I expected to read more precise language in a teachers’ corner (perhaps the teachers should be put in the corner…).

    The post confuses three things:

    1) The earth reaches a point on its orbit where the sun is directly overhead at some point on the tropic of capricorn. It is never overhead at points further South. There is a second solstice in June, when the sun is directly overhead at some point on the tropic of cancer.

    2) The capricorn solstice is the start of/during winter (according to different extra-scientific definitions) in the northern hemisphere, ditto summer in the summer hemisphere.

    3) Some people do live in the southern hemisphere.


  3. National Weather Service lists this year’s winter solstice as occurring at 11:30 PM CST, 12/21/11; which would be 12:30 AM EST, 12/22/11; 10:30 PM MST, 12/21/11; 9:30 PM PST, 12/21/11. This is correct, isn’t it?

  4. I didn’t expect to take me here when I looked for “NASA Blog” – nonetheless an interesting find – just a bit surprised by how it all looks.

  5. Hello. I’m 17 and very very scared about the world supposedly ending on December 21 2012. I have read so much on it from NASA but I am still very scared. It ruins my life to be honest. I’m also having a baby and due on 23 December and scared I won’t get to have my baby and to grow old with him/her. Anything you could do to help me would be much appreciated. Thank you!

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