Winter Solstice 2020: What to Know as the Season Changes

The winter solstice started Monday at 2:02 a.m.

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Regardless of what the weather feels like, winter solstice started Monday at 2:02 a.m. It’s an astronomical event caused by the Earth‘s tilt on its axis and its motion in orbit around the sun.

Even though it happens at the same time for all of us everywhere on Earth, we don’t all experience the same season. 

Earth’s northern and southern hemisphere trade places in receiving the sun‘s light and warmth most directly. When it’s winter for us, south of the equator it’s summer. 

During winter, the sun is shining directly over the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere. Meanwhile, the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun causing shorter days and colder temperatures. Today is when the sun reaches its lowest position in the sky. 

Winter solstice is considered to be the shortest day of the year. 

Really, it’s the day where we receive the least daylight. 

After today, day length increases by a few seconds each day until the summer solstice. In many cultures it’s celebrated as a time of rebirth. 


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Winter comes to an end on March 20, when we begin the next season of spring. 

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