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    Shortest day and longest night of the year. Winter solstice is today 

    Estimated reading time: 1 minute

    21 December is the moment of the so-called winter solstice. This day signifies a total of three things to us – the beginning of astronomical winter, the shortest day of the year, and the longest night of the year. 

    The winter solstice, also known as the December solstice, is the time of year when the Sun rises at the zenith at the Tropic of Capricorn, the southernmost latitude for which this is possible. The day is then the shortest and the night the longest.

    In the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice falls on either 21 or 22 December (its timing is influenced by the length of the solar year and the use of leap years). At the moment of the winter solstice, astronomical winter begins. After the winter solstice, the days begin to lengthen.

    The length of the shortest day is counted from sunrise to sunset. It will vary slightly depending on the region of Poland. On average, however, the day will last about 7.5 hours – the shortest at the seaside and the longest in the mountains. Consequently, the longest night of the year will last about 16.5 hours!

    Interestingly, in the two previous years, the shortest day and longest night of the year also fell on 21 December. It is only next year – 2023 – that the shortest day will be on 22 December.

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