From The Editors Science

Misconceptions About Winter and Solstices

Let’s first discuss solstice in general and the different types of solstices and why and when they occur before we talk about the common misconceptions of people with regards to winter and summer solstices.

In any case, the following explanation should clear any misconceptions of Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice.

Winter Solstice Dawn 2016
Winter Solstice Dawn 2016

A solstice occurs twice a year on June 21 and December 21 with a minimal margin of change in date of these astronomical events experienced on our planet.

The June 21 Solstice and the December 21 Solstice are also referred to as the Summer Solstice or Winter solstice and here is where the misconceptions are.

Now, in relation to the earth’s hemispheres, the June Solstice will be Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

On the other hand, the December Solstice will be called Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

To make it even simpler, the June and December solstices can either be Summer or Winter Solstices for you depending on which hemisphere you are on.

Theoretically speaking, if a person wants to avoid the Winter Solstice all his life, he has to be in the Southern Hemisphere on December 21 and in the Northern Hemisphere on June 21, and, of course, vice verca.

The common understanding of Winter Solstice, another misconception, is that it has the least amount of daylight.

The actual fact is that today’s solstice will see the shortest day of the year and hence, the longest night of the year – in the Northern Hemisphere, of course.

It will be the opposite today in the Southern Hemisphere.

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