December solstice

The December solstice, is the solstice that occurs each December – typically on Dec 21, and can vary ± 1 day according to the Gregorian calendar. In the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice is the winter solstice, whilst in the Southern Hemisphere it is the summer solstice. It is also known as the southern solstice.

UT date and time of
equinoxes and solstices on Earth[1][2]
event equinox solstice equinox solstice
month March June September December
year
daytimedaytimedaytimedaytime
2014 2016:572110:512302:292123:03
2015 2022:452116:382308:212204:48
2016 2004:302022:342214:212110:44
2017 2010:282104:242220:022116:28
2018 2016:152110:072301:542122:23
2019 2021:582115:542307:502204:19
2020 2003:502021:442213:312110:02
2021 2009:372103:322219:212115:59
2022 2015:332109:142301:042121:48
2023 2021:242114:582306:502203:27
2024 2003:072020:512212:442109:20

Dates

Recent, past, and future dates and times, in Universal Time, of the December solstice are:[3]

Datetime
2000-12-2113:37
2001-12-2119:21
2002-12-2201:14
2003-12-2207:04
2004-12-2112:42
2005-12-2118:35
2006-12-2200:22
2007-12-2206:08
2008-12-2112:04
2009-12-2117:47
2010-12-2123:38
2011-12-2205:30
2012-12-2111:12
2013-12-2117:11
2014-12-2123:03
2015-12-2204:48
2016-12-2110:44
2017-12-2116:28
2018-12-2122:23
2019-12-2204:19
2020-12-2110:02

Solar year

The December solstice solar year is the solar year based on the December solstice. It is thus the length of time between adjacent December solstices.

The length of the December solstice year has been relatively stable between 6000 BC and 2000 at 49:30 (minutes:seconds) to 50:00 in excess of 365 days and 5 hours. After 2000 it is getting shorter. In 4000 the excess time will be 48:52 and in 10000 46:45.[4]

The length of the day near the December solstice

The following tables contain information on the length of the day on December 22nd, close to the winter solstice of the Northern Hemisphere and the summer solstice of the Southern Hemisphere (i.e. December solstice). The data was collected from the website of the Finnish Meteorological Institute on 22 December 2015, as well as from certain other websites.[5][6][7][8]

The data is arranged geographically and within the tables from the shortest day to the longest one.

The Nordic countries and the Baltic states
City Sunrise
22 Dec 2015
Sunset
22 Dec 2015
Length of the day
Murmansk0 h
Bodø11:3612:250 h 49 min
Rovaniemi11:0813:222 h 14 min
Luleå9:5513:043 h 08 min
Reykjavík11:2215:294 h 07 min
Trondheim10:0114:314 h 30 min
Tórshavn9:5114:595 h 08 min
Helsinki9:2415:135 h 49 min
Oslo9:1815:125 h 54 min
Tallinn9:1715:206 h 02 min
Stockholm8:4314:486 h 04 min
Riga9:0015:436 h 43 min
Copenhagen8:3715:387 h 01 min
Vilnius8:4015:547 h 14 min
Europe
City Sunrise
22 Dec 2015
Sunset
22 Dec 2015
Length of the day
Edinburgh8:4215:406 h 57 min
Moscow8:5715:587 h 00 min
Berlin8:1515:547 h 39 min
London8:0415:537 h 49 min
Kiev7:5615:568 h 00 min
Paris8:4116:568 h 14 min
Rome7:3416:429 h 07 min
Madrid8:3417:519 h 17 min
Lisbon7:5117:189 h 27 min
Athens7:3717:099 h 31 min
Africa
City Sunrise
22 Dec 2015
Sunset
22 Dec 2015
Length of the day
Cairo6:4716:5910 h 12 min
Dakar7:3018:4611 h 15 min
Addis Ababa6:3518:1111 h 36 min
Nairobi6:2518:3712 h 11 min
Kinshasa5:4518:0812 h 22 min
Dar es Salaam6:0518:3612 h 31 min
Luanda5:4618:2412 h 38 min
Antananarivo5:1018:2613 h 16 min
Windhoek6:0419:3513 h 31 min
Johannesburg5:1218:5913 h 47 min
Cape Town5:3219:5714 h 25 min
Americas
City Sunrise
22 Dec 2015
Sunset
22 Dec 2015
Length of the day
Fairbanks10:5814:403 h 41 min
Nuuk10:2214:284 h 06 min
Anchorage10:1415:425 h 27 min
Vancouver8:0516:168 h 11 min
Seattle7:5516:208 h 25 min
Ottawa7:3916:228 h 42 min
Toronto7:4816:438 h 55 min
New York City7:1616:329 h 15 min
Washington, D.C.7:2316:499 h 26 min
Los Angeles6:5516:489 h 53 min
Dallas7:2517:259 h 59 min
Miami7:0317:3510 h 31 min
Honolulu7:0417:5510 h 50 min
Mexico City7:0618:0310 h 57 min
Managua6:0117:2611 h 24 min
Bogotá5:5917:5011 h 51 min
Quito6:0818:1612 h 08 min
Recife5:0017:3512 h 35 min
Lima5:4118:3112 h 50 min
La Paz5:5719:0413 h 06 min
Rio de Janeiro6:0419:3713 h 33 min
São Paulo6:1719:5213 h 35 min
Porto Alegre6:2020:2514 h 05 min
Santiago6:2920:5214 h 22 min
Buenos Aires5:3720:0614 h 28 min
Ushuaia4:5122:1117 h 19 min
Asia and Oceania
City Sunrise
22 Dec 2015
Sunset
22 Dec 2015
Length of the day
Magadan8:5414:556 h 00 min
Petropavlovsk9:3617:107 h 33 min
Khabarovsk8:4817:078 h 18 min
Ulaanbaatar8:3917:028 h 22 min
Vladivostok8:4017:408 h 59 min
Beijing7:3216:529 h 20 min
Seoul7:4417:179 h 34 min
Tokyo6:4716:319 h 44 min
Shanghai6:4816:5510 h 07 min
Lhasa8:4619:0110 h 14 min
Delhi7:0917:2810 h 19 min
Hong Kong6:5817:4410 h 46 min
Manila6:1617:3211 h 15 min
Bangkok6:3617:5511 h 19 min
Singapore7:0119:0412 h 03 min
Jakarta5:3618:0512 h 28 min
Denpasar5:5818:3612 h 37 min
Darwin6:1919:1012 h 51 min
Papeete5:2118:3213 h 10 min
Brisbane4:4918:4213 h 52 min
Perth5:0719:2214 h 14 min
Sydney5:4120:0514 h 24 min
Auckland5:5820:3914 h 41 min
Melbourne5:5420:4214 h 47 min
Invercargill5:5021:3915 h 48 min

Human culture

Calendars

The figures in the charts show the differences between the Gregorian calendar and Persian Jalāli calendar in reference to the actual yearly time of the Southern solstice. The error shifts by slightly less than 1/4 day per year; in the Gregorian calendar it is corrected by a leap year every 4th year, omitting three such corrections in every 400 years, so that the average length of a calendar year is 365 97/400 days; while in the Persian calendar every eighth leap-cycle is extended to 5 years, making the average 365 8/33 days, shorter than the Gregorian average by one day every 13200 years.

The date of the solstice is not the same as the date of the latest sunrise and both are not the same as the date of earliest sunset. Because the Earth is moving along its solar orbital path, for each solar day the Earth has to do more than one full rotation. Because the Earth's orbit is elliptical, the speed at which the Earth moves along its orbit varies. Consequently, solar days are not the same length throughout the year. "Mean time" is our way of modifying this, for our convenience, making each day the same length, i.e. 24 hours. The maximum correction (see Equation of Time) is ± 15 minutes to the mean but its value changes quite rapidly around the solstices. If solar time were used rather than mean time, the latest sunrise and earliest sunset and therefore also the shortest day would all be at the December solstice in the northern hemisphere; the opposite would be true in the southern hemisphere, with the earliest sunrise, latest sunset, and longest day.

Commemorations

References

  1. United States Naval Observatory (4 January 2018). "Earth's Seasons and Apsides: Equinoxes, Solstices, Perihelion, and Aphelion". Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  2. Astro Pixels (20 February 2018). "Solstices and Equinoxes: 2001 to 2100". Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  3. Earth's Seasons — Naval Oceanography Portal
  4. Bromberg, Irv. "Solar Year Length Variations on Earth" (PDF). University of Toronto, Canada. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  5. "Paikallissää Helsinki" [‘Local weather in Helsinki’] (in Finnish). Finnish Meteorological Institute. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  6. "Perth, Australia". Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  7. "São Paulo, Brazil". Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  8. "Denpasar, Indonesia". Retrieved 22 December 2015.

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