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The Four Seasons - Continued

December Solstice and March Equinox

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December Solstice (approximately December 21-22)

This day begins summer in the Southern Hemisphere and is the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere. It begins winter in the Northern Hemisphere and is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

North Pole: At the North Pole, it has been dark of three months (since the September Equinox). It remains dark for another three (until the March Equinox).

Arctic Circle: The sun makes the briefest of appearances at noon, peeking at the horizon and then instantaneously disappearing. All areas north of the Arctic Circle are dark on the June Solstice.

Tropic of Cancer: The sun is low in the sky, at 47 degrees from zenith (23.5 plus 23.5) at noon.

Equator: The sun is 23.5 degrees from zenith at noon.

Tropic of Capricorn: The sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn on the December Solstice.

Antarctic Circle: It is light 24 hours a day south of the Antarctic Circle (66.5 degrees north) on the June Solstice. The sun at noon is 47 off zenith.

South Pole: The South Pole (90 degrees south latitude) receives 24 hours of daylight, as it has been daylight at the South Pole for the last three months (since the September Equinox). The sun is 66.5 degrees off of the zenith or 23.5 degrees above the horizon. It will remain light at the South Pole for another three months.

March Equinox (approximately March 20-21)

This day begins fall in the Southern Hemisphere and spring in the Northern Hemisphere. There are twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness at all points on the earth’s surface on the two equinoxes. Sunrise is at 6 a.m. and sunset is at 6 p.m. local (solar) time for most points on the earth’s surface.

North Pole: The sun is on the horizon at the North Pole on the March Equinox. The sun rises at the North Pole at noon to the horizon on the March Equinox and the North Pole remains light until the September Equinox.

Arctic Circle: Experiences 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The sun is 66.5 off zenith and low in the sky at 23.5 degrees above the horizon.

Tropic of Cancer: Experiences 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The sun is 23.5 degrees off of the zenith.

Equator: The sun is directly overhead the equator at noon on the equinox. On both equinoxes, the sun is directly over the equator at noon.

Tropic of Capricorn: Experiences 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The sun is 23.5 degrees off of the zenith.

Antarctic Circle: Experiences 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.

South Pole: The sun sets at the South Pole at noon after the Pole having been light for the past six months (since the September Equinox). The day begins on the horizon in the morning and by the end of the day, the sun has set.

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