Event
December 21, 2021
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Online

Winter Solstice – Local Noon

Join us at local noon (weather permitting) to mark the start of winter!

Upcoming Equinox and Solstice Events at Griffith Observatory

Winter Solstice - Local Noon

Griffith Observatory marks the start of winter in the northern hemisphere with a live online talk (weather permitting) focused on the Sun as it reaches its lowest point in the sky at local noon. Observatory staff will discuss the meaning of local noon and show how the Sun’s changing path across the sky causes seasonal changes. Learn more about the seasons here.

Seasons

Winter begins in Earth’s northern hemisphere at 7:59 a.m., PST, on December 21. Summer begins in the southern hemisphere at the same time. The December/winter solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its minimum declination (-23.5 degrees). This is when the northern hemisphere of Earth is tilted as far away from the Sun as possible during a given year.

What Is Winter?

From the autumnal equinox until the start of winter – the winter solstice in December – days become shorter, and the local noon elevation of the Sun decreases. This happens because the Earth’s axis is tilted 23½ degrees to its orbit. December 21 is the shortest day of the year.