5 Things to Know About the Winter Solstice

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Behold! A year has passed since the great Mayan apocalypse of 2012 — newsflash: we’re all still here — and the winter solstice is again upon us. The solstice marks the shortest day of the year for dwellers in the Northern Hemisphere, and the longest day of the year for those south of the equator. But that doesn’t just mean darkness will cast a great shadow over the Northern Hemisphere. Leading up to the solstice, the sun’s highest point appears closer to horizon each day, which means the days get shorter and the nights get longer. During the solstice, the sun’s position relative to Earth seems to pause (solstice means “stationary sun”), and from that day forward appears to inch northward, meaning more sunlight for those of us in the north. Here’s a look at why you should care about today’s astronomical event.

What is it?
The 23.5 degree tilt in…

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