What happens during solstice?

The December Solstice, also known as the summer solstice, marks the marks the day with the most number of daylight hours in the southern hemisphere. The Sun appears at its highest point in the sky, with the Earth most tilted towards the Sun. But it isn’t the latest sunset or the earliest sunrise: this is because of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun is an ellipse, and because the Earth is off-centre on its axis. Together, these factors mean a difference of several minutes difference between solar and mean time.

The word “solstice” comes from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because the Sun was believed to stop moving, before changing direction.

How does the solstice work?

For more info about how solstices work exactly, check out the post made by our friends over at Stargazers Club WA

When is the solstice this year?

The summer solstice for the southern hemisphere will occur on 21st December at 5:20 pm.

Why the ‘December solstice’?

Other than that the solstice occurs in December, we prefer to call it the December solstice because we recognise that we live on Nyoongar country in Western Australia, and the Nyoongar people observe six seasons.

In the Nyoongar calendar, the months of December and January are in the season of Birak, with rising temperatures and the decreasing rainfall.

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