Winter Solstice Is Near
The winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is just over a month away. What seasonal changes are you noticing as we approach the shortest day of the year?
What Changes Are You Noticing?
As fall winds down and we approach the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, what changes are you noticing? Diminishing daylight length is one of the most apparent signs of the fall to winter transition. But did you know that the sun’s shadow can provide clues as well? The curiosity of our Journey North volunteers always inspires:
“I was creating a shadow plot yesterday, to compare against my summer shadow plot. I surprised to see that the shortest shadow occurred not at noon, but an hour later, at 1:00 pm. It wasn’t till today that it clicked! I live in B.C., Canada and we are on Daylight Savings Time, where we ‘spring forward one hour.’ My clock was wrong, but the sun’s shadow wasn’t! Yesterday’s big aha moment came when I realized that because I was expecting the direction of the sun’s shadows to change direction, as they do in the tropics. But because I now live north of the tropic of cancer, the direction of the sun’s shadows did not change, just the length!” —Luisa, Environmental Educator located in British Columbia, Canada
What to Report
How to Report your Day Length (Photoperiod)
Step 1: Look up your sunrise/sunset for November 20.
Step 2: Calculate the length of time between sunrise and sunset.
Step 3: Report your daylight length for November 20.
Step 4: Explore the Daylight map and compare your part of the world with other locations as the Earth revolves around the Sun.
Step 5: Watch the Signs of Fall map and share and compare seasonal observations with people around the globe.
How to Participate
Report on the 20th of every month, and on each equinox and solstice. Track changes in daylight over the course of the year on the daylight map. Explore how day length changes in your part of the world as the Earth revolves around the Sun. Share and compare seasonal observations with people around the globe.