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Updated December 22nd, 2023 at 13:29 IST

What is winter solstice 2023 - date, time, and all you need to know

Heard about winter solstice 2023? Here is the date, time and all you need to know about this phenomenon.

Winter solstice 2023
Winter solstice 2023 | Image:Unsplash
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Winter solstice, also known as December solstice, signifies the beginning of winter in the Northern hemisphere. The upcoming winter solstice sky will feature a rare yet spectacular alignment: the close proximity of Jupiter and the moon. In the southern hemisphere, it marks the arrival of summer solstice. 

The term solstice originates from the Latin term solstitium. It means that the sun is standing still. During winter solstice, the sun pauses in the sky before commencing its reversal. It then gradually ascends higher. This momentary pause is why it is also referred to as midwinter.

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File photo | Image: Unsplash 

Winter solstice 2023 

This year, the exact timing varies due to Earth's orbit around the sun. It typically falls on December 21 or 22. However, this year's winter solstice will occur on December 21 at 10:27 PM EST. Meaning, in India, it will be observed on December 22 at 8:57 AM.

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As this happens, the northern hemisphere will experience its shortest day. This will be around 7 hours and 14 minutes of daylight. On December 22, the day will have 8 hours and 49 minutes less daylight compared to the summer solstice.

File photo | Image: Unsplash 

How to watch winter solstice 2023 

The gibbous moon will be visible to the right of Jupiter during the solstice. It is definitely going to be a treat for all the sky watchers. All you need is a small telescope or pair of binoculars and you can make the most of this phenomenon. 

Again on December 22, the moon will have moved to the left of Jupiter. It also happens to be the peak of the annual Ursid meteor shower. 

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Published December 22nd, 2023 at 08:29 IST

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