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Winter Solstice 2021: Northern and Southern Hemisphere

In its translation, the Earth describes an elliptical orbit around the Sun, which lasts for 365 days and a little over 6 hours. In turn, the Earth presents an inclination of its axis of rotation of approximately 23.5 degrees with respect to the Sun. Both circumstances cause the succession of seasons and suppose the reason why the amount of sunlight that falls on the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet is uneven depending on the time of year in which we are. Thus, it will be summer in the hemisphere that, at a given moment, is inclined towards the Sun (since the solar rays affect this area more directly and increase the temperature), while in the opposite hemisphere it will be winter.

In this AgroCorrn article we talk about the winter solstice of 2021 in the northern and southern hemispheres , as well as explain what the solstices consist of, when they take place and how they differ from the equinoxes.

What is the winter solstice

The question of what the solstices are is quite common. The word solstice comes from Latin, specifically from the term “solstitium” , which means “still sun” . Two solstices are known, the summer solstice and the winter solstice, which correspond to the longest and shortest days of the year on the planet, respectively.

The winter solstice occurs when one of the terrestrial hemispheres (north or south) is inclined at its most extreme angle and away from the Sun, taking place at different times of the year in each of these hemispheres. Thus, in the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice takes place in December, when the North Pole is tilted as far as possible from the Sun, which is why it is the day with the fewest hours of light and the longest night of the year . From this day on, the duration of the days will increase and that of the nights, gradually decreasing. For its part, in the southern hemisphere the winter solstice takes place in the month of June.

When is the winter solstice of 2021

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the duration of a complete Earth orbit lasts just over 365 days, which is why a leap year occurs every four years. Due to the calendar offset we use, the exact dates of the solstices can vary from year to year, both in hours and days.

It should be noted that, depending on the hemisphere to which we are referring, the seasons will be one or the other at the same specific time and, therefore, the winter and summer solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes take place on different dates in the hemisphere. north and south .

In the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice takes place between June 20 and 22, at which time the North Pole is more directly inclined towards the Sun, which implies that it is the day with the most hours of light of the year. In the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed and, therefore, the opposite situation occurs. Thus, the winter solstice takes place in June and the summer solstice in December.

Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere

In the year 2021, the winter solstice in the northern part of the planet will take place on December 21, which is a Tuesday, at 15:59 UTC.

Winter solstice in the southern hemisphere

Instead, the winter solstice of 2021 in the southern part of the Earth will occur on June 21, which is a Monday, at 3:31 UTC.

As a curiosity related to the solstices, we recommend this other article on Why do the seasons of the year exist .

Difference between solstice and equinox – simple definition

It is very common to confuse the solstices and the equinoxes, so here we define each of these terms well, thus showing their difference.

  • The orbit that the Earth describes is elliptical in shape, so it has two axes of different sizes. The solstices take place when the Earth passes through the point of one of the extremes of the major axis .
  • The equinoxes , on the other hand, are the points within the orbit that coincide with the ends of the minor axis of said orbit. The spring and autumn equinoxes mark the times when the Sun is above the equator, and there are the same hours of light as of darkness, and they take place in March and September, respectively. Learn more about them with these other posts about the 2021 Spring Equinox: Northern and Southern Hemisphere and about the 2021 Fall Equinox: Northern and Southern Hemisphere .
Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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