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Winter solstice is here: Wednesday marks shortest daylight of year in Arizona

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Winter arrives Wednesday at 3:44 a.m. Arizona!

That is the annual winter solstice, a day that ushers in some of the shortest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

With the extreme cold snap that most of the United States is experiencing, we really need no certification that winter will begin!

Weather enthusiasts see Dec. 1 as the traditional beginning of winter weather, but astronomically, we know that the solstice marks the return of winter.

The winter solstice is the moment the sun moves to its lowest position along the path we call the ecliptic.

If you love the night sky, you are in luck, as we will have with the longest nights of the year in the coming days.

At the moment of the winter solstice on Wednesday, the sun will appear directly overhead for people along the belt known as the Tropic Of Capricorn — 23.5 degrees south latitude.

In Arizona, we will see the latest sunrise of the year — around 7:30 a.m. — and the earliest sunsets — about 5:20 p.m.

On solstice day, we’ll only have a daylight for 9 hours 56 minutes and 8 seconds!

To follow the sky with Dr.Sky, get your December star chart.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

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