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 First of Spring.... Mount Baker First of Spring.... Mount Baker
This is the Grand Lady of the north ...... all laden with the winters snow. What a site to see.
YouNews  Amazing Storm Cell Amazing Storm Cell
I took a few photos of the small but strong storm cell that toppled trees at Dash Point State Park. From our view we could see the cell rotating over Sea-Tac Airport. The colors were amazing, the cloud formations were beautiful.
YouNews Seattle Rainbow Seattle Rainbow
Evening rainbow from Queen Anne using fisheye lens, 17 April 2014