Sun Moves South During Winter Solstice

Dec. 20: Winter Solstice
Winter begins in the northern hemisphere tomorrow, as the Sun
appears farthest south for the year. This point is called the
solstice, which means

Sun stands still.

At the solstices, the Sun rises and sets at the same points on
the horizon for several days in a row.
Dec. 20: Winter Solstice

Winter begins in the northern hemisphere tomorrow, as the Sun appears farthest south for the year. This point is called the solstice, which means “Sun stands still.” At the solstices, the Sun rises and sets at the same points on the horizon for several days in a row.

Dec. 21: Winter Solstice II

Winter arrives in the northern hemisphere at 12:35pm CST today. That’s when the Sun appears farthest south in Earth’s sky for the year. It lies 23-and-a-half degrees south of the celestial equator – the projection of Earth’s equator on the dome of the sky.

Dec. 22: Cancer and Company

Cancer, the crab, scuttles across the east on winter evenings. It climbs into view by around 9pm The planet Saturn, which looks like a bright golden star, is passing through the constellation, so it will help you find the crab.

Dec. 23: Wise Stars

Three stars represent the wise men on their journey to Bethlehem. The stars form the belt of Orion. Look toward the south this evening for three stars in a short, straight line. The stars are Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka.

Dec. 24: Moon and SpicaM

The highlight of tonight’s sky is the close pairing of the Moon and Spica, the brightest star of the constellation Virgo. As they rise a couple of hours after midnight, Spica will stand a little below the Moon. As they climb higher into the sky, though, the Moon will move closer to the star.

Dec. 25: Moon and Jupiter

The crescent Moon and the planet Jupiter rise several hours before the Sun tomorrow, and are well up in the south-southeast at first light. Jupiter looks like a brilliant star, a little to the lower left of the Moon.

Dec. 26: Crab Nebula

Taurus, the bull, is well up in the east this evening. A V-shaped pattern of stars forms his face. Near the tip of one of the bull’s horns is the Crab Nebula, the remains of an exploded star. Binoculars reveal a fuzzy patch of light, but you need a telescope to see the Crab’s wispy structure.

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