Happy Winter Solstice

Today we mark the longest night and shortest day of the year. Many around the world will have gazed upon the sun as it rose, quietly giving thanks for the return of light. Some had the good fortune to stand at significant locations, such as Stonehenge, to welcome the bright star. I watched the sunrise from my backyard though grey clouds obscured it, pausing during barn chores to reflect on the rebirth of the day.

Winter Solstice has been celebrated for centuries around the globe. How many centuries? No one knows. It goes back to as far as the stones are old.

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Tracking the Seasons, Sun and Moon

As we approach full moon and winter solstice, I’d like to draw your attention to a website I visit every day: Time and Date. The information I gather from here has been recorded in numerous notebooks over the years. Sometimes I’d record only the times for sunrise and sunset. Other occasions, I’d also record the moonrise, moonset, illumination percentage, daylight hours and the angles of the rising and setting of both the sun and the moon.

There’s lots of other information on the site that pertains to time, including the World Clock and Calendars. If you want to track anything in the sky, including planets, you’ll find information here. The sweet thing is, you can get it as it pertains to your location regardless of where you are in the world.

The illumination of the moon is real time (or at least as real as I’m going to find it). Just before I posted this, the moon was at 98.9% on its way to becoming full. This website says it will be full December 19th at 12:35 am, my time.

The site also tells me when to expect the sunrise on winter solstice: December 21st at 7:50 am. Winter arrives at 11:59 am.

Check it out here: Time and Date.