Published: Thu, December 21, 2017
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Winter Solstice, Daylight Relief in Sight

Winter Solstice, Daylight Relief in Sight

This year there will be live streaming of the sunrise at the world heritage listed site from 8.30-9.15am (Irish time obviously) on December 20th and 21st, here or on YouTube - from your home, office, laptop, tablet or phone!

Here in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder, all leading up to the winter solstice, which marks the shortest day of the year.

The solstices, and the seasons they mark, are the result of a celestial coincidence.

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Although the winter solstice is associated with lower temperatures, December 21 will not be the coldest day of 2017.

Although the weather will remain cold and harsh, at least you'll get a little more daylight every day. Now every year on the winter solstice people flock from across the globe to Newgrange in County Meath, to feel closer to their ancestors and catch a glimpse of their ancient Ireland's engineering expertise. The monument is carefully positioned so that on the day of the winter solstice, the sun sets through a gap in the stones. Precisely how short that is varies with how far north or south you are-around the solstice, the sun never truly rises at the north pole. Here are six things to know about the longest night of the year.

The summer solstice happens in June. The solstice, the precise time at which the axis and the sun align, marks the halfway point of this period.

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As a effect, on December 21, the northern half gets the least solar radiation as it does all year long, and sees the fewest hours of daylight.

What's a solstice and why is my day going to drag on? That distinction is partially to make seasons more equal in length and partially to better reflect how temperatures change over the course of the year.

It is one of the wonders of the ancient world - and it still captivates us to this day.

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