Winter officially begins at 10:28 a.m. today

The 2017 winter solstice will take place at 10:28 a.m. Central Time on December 21st.

This marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, according to the National Weather Service.  In the Northern Hemisphere it can happen anytime between December 20th and 23rd, depending on the year.  The winter solstice takes place when the sun is right over the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° south of the equator).

The Southern Hemisphere is opposite, where the shortest day is in June.

What’s the difference between a solstice and an equinox?  In an equinox the sun is right above the Earth’s equator, making the day and the night the same length.

Translated in Latin, solstice means “sun stands still.”  According to CNN, for multiple days surrounding the solstice the sun stands still in the sky, meaning it’s noontime elevation doesn’t change from day to day.

Ever wonder why the shortest day of the year isn’t usually the coldest?
Winter solstice means spring is on its way
How the world observes the winter solstice