Just a while ago this Tuesday morning, the real heads-up on our current life predicament — shortest day, longest night — and the starting of most-likely a festered winter of our discombobulation:
No matter where on Earth you are, it's time for the December solstice!
10:59am EST (15:59 UTC) marks the start of astronomical winter in the Northern Hemisphere—and the beginning of astronomical summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Here's what that means: https://t.co/ZAJQ8YFtVZ pic.twitter.com/JCUB7OmFg9
— NASA (@NASA) December 21, 2021
Details via NASA:
Solstices come twice a year. For the Northern Hemisphere, the summer (June) solstice occurs around June 20-21, and the winter (December) solstice happens around Dec. 21-22.
At the solstice, the Sun’s path appears farthest north or south, depending on which half of the planet you’re on. Seasons change on Earth because the planet is slightly tilted on its axis as it travels around the Sun.
Earth’s axis may be imagined as an imaginary pole going right through the center of our planet from “top” to “bottom.” Earth spins around this pole, making one complete turn each day. That is why we have day and night.
Although the tilt of the Earth as compared to the plane of its orbit around the Sun is more or less constant (23.5?), at the December solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives the most indirect sunlight, causing cooler temperatures.
The Southern Hemisphere receives the most direct sunlight, causing warmer temperatures, so it is summer there.
At the June solstice, this effect reverses and the Northern Hemisphere receives the most direct sunlight, causing warmer temperatures, and the Southern Hemisphere receives the most indirect sunlight, causing cooler temperatures.
The December solstice brings the shortest day and longest night of the year for locations in the northern half of the globe, like the U.S., while the southern half of the globe is experiencing its longest day and shortest night.
Therefore, all locations north of the equator see daylength shorter than 12 hours and all locations south see daylength longer than 12 hours.
After the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the days will get longer and the nights shorter until the summer solstice on June 21, 2022, when things reverse.
The March equinox on March 20, 2022, will mark the beginning of the astronomical spring season and the September equinox on September 22, 2022, will mark the beginning of astronomical fall.
And so-forth-and-so-on. Plus this morning on my daily, early-looking at IMDB‘s birthday line-up, I saw I’m just a little more than three weeks older than Samuel L. Jackson — which is motherfuckin’ cool.
This in retrospect is almost tongue-in-cheek:
According to IMDB, Jackson played the character, ‘Hold Up Man,’ in “Coming To America,” and although Eddie Murphy takes the ‘Man‘ down, Jackson will eventually outshine Murphey by a long shot.
Happy Birthday! Mr. Jackson, and many more.
Yet with that, here we are once again…
(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Hell Canto 2: Giants,’ found here).