Cassian Baliarsingh

It’s going to be a long night today. Tonight is the Winter Solstice- the longest night of the year. Winter solstice, the shortest day and the longest night of the year, falls on December 21 or 22 every year. 

This year, the winter solstice is falling on December 22 and will experience the fewest hours of daylight and the longest night of the year. The night will be 13 hours and 19 minutes while the day will be only 10 hours and 41 minutes. 

What NASA says on Winter Solstice

- According to NASA, the Earth's solstices come twice a year. 

- For the Northern Hemisphere, the summer (June) solstice occurs around June 20-21, and the winter (December) solstice happens around Dec. 21-22.

- At the solstice, the Sun’s path appears farthest north or south, depending on which half of the planet you are on. 

- Seasons change on Earth because the planet is slightly tilted on its axis as it travels around the Sun.

“Earth’s axis may be imagined as an imaginary pole going right through the center of our planet from “top” to “bottom.” Earth spins around this pole, making one complete turn each day. That is why we have day and night,” NASA explains.

Winter Solstice: Take of experts from Odisha

Speaking to OTV, Subhendu Patnaik, Deputy Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium explained the phenomenon and said, “The Earth revolves around the Sun in a tilted manner at an axis. This leads to seasonal changes throughout Earth. On one side, we experience winter while at the same time, the other side of the Equator, experiences summer. So, on December 21 or 22 every year, the northern hemisphere experiences the shortest day and the longest night.” 

Speaking about Bhubaneswar, he said, “There won’t be much difference in timing for day and night in the Capital city today. The day is expected to be around 10 hours 54 minutes and 26 seconds while the night will be around 13 hours, 5 minutes. But, if we go towards Malkangiri, the district will have a day of around 11 hours.” 

“The timing for sunset might differ from place to place today. The sunrise in Bhubaneswar was around 6:14 AM today, and the sun will set at around 5:24 PM. Parts of Odisha will experience sunrise and sunset in just 3-4 minutes difference,” he added.