Winter solstice marks shortest day of the year

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Today is the shortest day of the year and this morning was one of the coldest, with a temperature of just 7.4 degrees at Bundaberg Airport at 6.30am.

The Bureau of Meteorology's David Crock said today will be 10 hours, 35 minutes and 28 seconds short at Bundaberg.

“The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year,” he said.

“It is when the sun is the furthest south in the sky.”

Mr Crock said the winter solstice was forecast to have a minimum of seven degrees, rising to 22 degrees later with sunny conditions.

Winter and summer solstice facts and myths

According to timeanddate.com a solstice happens twice, once in summer and once in winter, when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the North or South Pole.

Solstices are opposite on either side of the equator, so the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa.

During the solstices, the tilt of the axil of the Earth is the maximum, at 23° 26′.

It is believed the June solstice was used to organise calendars in ancient times.

Some historians point to the monument Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England as evidence.

Viewed from its centre, the sun rises at a particular point on the horizon on day of the June solstice.

Some theories suggest that the builders of Stonehenge may have used the solstice as a starting point to count the days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

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