Happy winter solstice! USA Today has the details of today's changing of the seasons in Monday's winter solstice marks the longest night.
Here comes the dark. The winter solstice — marking the longest night and shortest day of the year — is Monday night.That's the science of the solstice. It also has religious significance.
The solstice occurs at the same instant everywhere on Earth. In the United States, it happens at 11:48 p.m. ET Monday (or 10:48 p.m. CT, 9:48 p.m. MT and 8:48 p.m. PT).
The winter solstice is the precise moment the Northern Hemisphere is tilted its farthest from the sun all year, and usually occurs near the day when there is the least amount of daylight and the most darkness.
The Earth's tilted axis causes the seasons. During the Northern Hemisphere's winter, the land north of the equator is tilted away from the sun, which lowers the amount of the sun's energy warming the Northern Hemisphere.
And why is the Earth tilted? It's probably the result of collisions with various proto-planets and other massive objects during the formation of the solar system billions of years ago, according to NASA. Just a bit unsettling to realize that the reason the Earth has the perfect temperature for life to form is a few random collisions with other space rocks a few eons ago.
One of the most famous solstice celebrations occurs at the ancient Stonehenge ruins in Wiltshire, England, where druids, pagans and other revelers gather each year to celebrate the event.Coincidentally (or maybe not), TestTube News talks about these very religious movements in today's What Is Paganism?
In ancient, times before Christianity ruled, paganism was the primary faith of ancient Europe. So what is this old religion?Whatever my readers believe, or don't believe, for that matter, Happy Solstice!