MANILA, Philippines – December 22, 2023 serves as the shortest day and the longest night of the year the country is about to experience due to the ‘Winter Solstice’.
“All locations north of the equator see daylight shorter than 12 hours and all locations south see daylight longer than 12 hours,” explains NASA.
The Philippines, situated north of the equator, experiences a celestial spotlight during this longest night of the year. This brief period is a subtle gesture from the universe, lasting nearly 12 hours. Picture a celestial performance choreographed by nature, with the sun rising at 6:01 a.m. and setting at 5:31 p.m. a harmonious dance set to the rhythm of nature. This is the atmospheric display anticipated for Friday.
The December solstice, commonly referred to as the Winter Solstice, can be seen as a natural spectacle, like a cosmic light display. This occurrence is a result of the Earth’s significant tilt, leading to the occurrence of the shortest day and the longest night of the year.
During the winter solstice, the sun follows its briefest trajectory across the sky, reaching its lowest point at noon. Areas in close proximity to the Arctic and Antarctic circles go through a phenomenon known as polar night during this time, wherein the sun remains below the horizon for over 24 hours.
Even though it marks the longest night of the year, the winter solstice is not usually associated with the cold temperatures. This is because there is a delay between the shortest day and the point of lowest average temperatures, caused by the gradual release of accumulated heat by the oceans.
Meanwhile in the Northern Hemisphere, where individuals are bundled up to combat the winter cold, the sun’s rays engage in a celestial game of hide-and-seek. Due to the Earth’s tilt, our part of the world receives less sunlight, making December 22 the star player in terms of the longest night of the year.