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Sunday marks shortest day with 2020 Winter Solstice

2020 Winter Solstice
This Sunday, 21 June, will be the shortest day of 2020 in the Bundaberg Region as it’s the Winter Solstice. Photo: Coonarr Beach on a Winter's day.

This Sunday, 21 June, will be the shortest day of 2020 in the Bundaberg Region as it’s the Winter Solstice.

The Winter Solstice is the day of the year that has the fewest daylight hours of any in the year, and usually occurs on 22 June, but as with this year it can occur between 21 and 23 June.

The day is also known by June Solstice, as it is the shortest day and the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, and the longest day and the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.

According to TimeandDate a solstice happens twice in a year, 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.

2020 Winter Solstice means less daylight

In terms of daylight for the 2020 Winter Solstice in the Bundaberg Region there will be three hours and six minutes less sunlight than on the day of the Summer Solstice in December.

On Sunday the sun will rise at 6.43 am and the sun will set at 5.10 pm, giving a total of 10 hours and 27 minutes of daylight in the Bundaberg Region.

According to Geoscience Australia an interesting idiosyncrasy relating to the Winter Solstice is that it does not feature the day with the latest sunrise and earliest sunset as is commonly expected. However, the Winter Solstice day does have the least amount of daylight hours for the year.

On its website Geoscience Australia said because the path of the Earth around the Sun is an ellipse, not a circle, and because the Earth is off-centre on its axis, these combined phenomena can create up to several minutes difference between solar and mean time.

It says around the date of summer solstice these effects make the Sun appear to move slightly slower than expected when measured by a watch or clock; as a result, the earliest sunrise occurs before the date of the summer solstice, and the latest sunset happens after the summer solstice.

For the same reasons, around the winter solstice, the time of sunrise continues to get later in the days after the solstice.

While the 2020 Winter Solstice falls in June 21, last year it fell on June 22.

1 COMMENT

1 COMMENT

  1. But was Sunday the 21st June the shortest day in Australia.

    I am confused whether the longest day in UK is the 21st June.

    My reasoning… 2020 is a leap year and 2020 has already had an extra day (February 29th) added the annual rotation of the sun calculation.

    2. The longest day in UK is measured at the observatory at Greenwich .
    3. UK is currently on Summer Time and 1 hour advanced and Australia which is 10 hours in front of UK Greenwich time because the day begins at the international date line to our east therefore midnight at Greenwich say (Sunday 21st) is already the next day in Australia.

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