Tag: winter solstice

New year, new moon

New year, new moon
Happy New year!  2019  on the calendar, a new page, unmarked as fresh-fallen snow. And the new moon on January 5 is the first new moon after the winter solstice. It is the first new moon of the new year on the Western (Gregorian) calendar. Chinese new year will be on February 5, 2019. This year will... Read more »

December Lights

December Lights
Approaching the winter solstice, these are the shortest days. In fact, the earliest sunsets of the year occur before the winter solstice! In Chicago, the earliest sunsets are happening now. From December 3 to December 13, the sun sets at 4:19 pm. This is our season of lights– holiday lights, streetlights, the lights of peoples’ phones.  In... Read more »

Halcyon Days

Halcyon Days
I hope you are enjoying these days  of unseasonably mild weather! According to the Farmers’ Almanac, these are the halcyon days, a brief spell of mild, calm weather around the winter solstice. The story can be found in Ovid’s Metamorphosis,  but this is how the Almanac  tells it– According to ancient legend, a grieving wife named Halcyon... Read more »
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Are you winter-ready?

Are you winter-ready?
Ready or not, winter has arrived. Meteorologists define winter as the three coldest months of the year–December, January and February. Traditionally, winter begins around December 21, at the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. You can read more here. Even older tradition calls the winter solstice midwinter, as it falls halfway through the darkest time... Read more »

Calendar Days

Calendar Days
Happy New Year, and a waxing crescent moon. There’s a comet near the moon, too,   in the southwest sky. It’s called Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková—or 45P for short. It’s not easy to see without binoculars or a telescope, but  it is there. You can read more about it here. The moon has its own calendar, its changing phases.... Read more »

December Solstice

December Solstice
Yes, these are dark times, and winter is here. For meteorologists, winter  begins on December 1. Astronomical winter in the Northern Hemisphere  begins on the December solstice. This year, it falls on December 21 at 4:40 am Central Time.  At the time of the December solstice, the sun appears to be  directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn in... Read more »
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Winter has Arrived!

Cold, snow, and more cold. Sounds a lot like winter across the Midwest. pic.twitter.com/fee7ZZgU7h — NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) December 7, 2016 Winter has arrived,  with snow and cold, boots and  hoodies, and  early sunsets.  Yes, it gets dark at 4:20 in the afternoon these days. December 3-15  are the earliest sunsets of the year, here. December Solstice (Winter... Read more »

Solstice New Year

Solstice New Year
Except for the point, the still point, there would be no dance, and there is only dance. ~ T.S. Eliot Solstice greetings! For the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice marks the start of astronomical winter. This is the longest night and shortest day of the year. In  the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the start of summer,... Read more »