Winter starts today at 15:59 pm

Today will also be the shortest day of the year.

Seasons of the year – Photo: NASA

The Winter Solstice takes place this Tuesday, December 21st, at 15:59 pm, marking the beginning of the winter season in the northern hemisphere. THE Lisbon Astronomical Observatory stresses that this is the “coldest season despite the fact that the Earth will be the closest to the sun on January 4th”.

The sun, on this solstice day, will be as low as possible in the sky in Lisbon and during its meridian passage it will reach a minimum height of 28°.

Day length on the Winter Solstice is the shortest. Today, December 21st, the solar disk will be born at 07:51:11 hours and will set at 17:18:14 hours in Lisbon. Thus, the duration of the day will be 09:27:03 hours.

Winter will last for 88,996 days, until the next Equinox, on March 20, 2022, the day when spring begins.

Northern Hemisphere Winter – Photo: NASA

Solstices are «points on the ecliptic at which the Sun reaches the maximum and minimum heights (angular distance) in relation to the equator, that is, points at which the solar declination reaches extremes: maximum at the Summer solstice (+23° 26′) and minimum on the winter solstice (-23° 26′)», explains the Astronomical Observatory of Lisbon.

The word of Latin origin (Solstitium) is associated with the fact that the Sun stops its daily movement away from the equatorial plane and “parks” when it reaches its highest or lowest position in the local sky.