Why Is This The Shortest Day Of The Year?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - The Earth tilts on an axis as it orbits around the sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, Dec. 21 is the day when we are tilted the furthest away from the sun -- thus the sun appears lowest in the sky (about 19 degrees above the horizon at noon for Seattle). That means the sun spends the least amount of time above the horizon that day.

It's exactly opposite in the Southern Hemisphere, where the Earth is tilted closest to the sun, so for them, today's the first day of summer. So while we're bundling up, Australians hit the beach during the holiday season.

It works the opposite for summer on June 21. That's when we're tilted closest to the sun, and get the longest day of the year.

Your Photos

YouNews World Series pumpkin World Series pumpkin
Every year the SF Giants are in the play offs it carve a pumpkin in their honer. This year I switched it up and added our opponents logo along with the World Series trophy. I hope to see my pumpkin on tv to share with all baseball fans.
YouNews AR2192 update AR2192 update
Sunspot AR2192 has grown to almost the size of Jupiter in this 2-day comparison. Image on the left was taken Sunday
Oct.19 and the image on the right was taken Tuesday Oct.21.