Around the time of the winter solstice, watch for late dawns, early sunsets, and the low arc of the sun across the sky each day. Notice your noontime shadow, the longest of the year. Photo via Serge Arsenie on Flickr.
The solstice happens at the same instant for all of us, everywhere on Earth. In 2013, the December solstice comes on December 21 at 11:11 a.m. CST. That’s December 21 at 17:11 UTC. It’s when the sun on our sky’s dome reaches its farthest southward point for the year. At this solstice, the Northern Hemisphere has its shortest day and longest night of the year.