Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is one of the two times each year that the Sun is at its farthest point from the equator and appears to stand still. It occurs today at 1:35 P.M. EST.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol, or "Sun," and stitium, or "stoppage."

The Halcyon Days also occur around this time - According to ancient legend, a grieving wife named Alcyone, or Halcyon, threw herself into the sea upon discovering the drowned body of her beloved husband, Ceyx. The gods took pity on the pair, transforming them into kingfishers with the power to still the stormy seas for 14 days around the time of the winter solstice while they built their nest and hatched their young.

Today marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year, it's all downhill from here as the days will progressively get longer and longer.

The sun appears at it's lowest point on the horizon today and if you look at it around noon over the next several days it will appear to be in the same point in the sky.

Don't you just love astronomy? It truly is one thing that remains constant throughout time.


xmichra said...

I have always loved winter.. the snow, the ice, the white on blue. It is just so pretty. Even if I bitch abou tthe driving or the cold snaps.. I always have the feeling of winter inside me.. it's a strange thing to explain to those not familiar with snow.. but it is just pure.

Also a big fan of astrology, and it is very consistant even though the world evolves. Much varries from year to year, but the planets are still hanging out in thier own spots twirling around like nobodys buisness.

Kat said...

I didn't realize that was today! cool.