Q:

How long is the shortest day of the year?

A:

Quick Answer

People in the United States are going to experience only 9 hours and 32 minutes of sunlight on the shortest day of the year in 2014, which is Dec. 21. The shortest day of the year, still 24 hours, is measured according to hours of sunlight.

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How long is the shortest day of the year?
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Full Answer

The first day of winter, the day of the Winter Solstice, is the shortest day of the year for those in the Northern Hemisphere. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice, or the first day of summer, is the shortest day of the year. The dates of both the Winter and Summer Solstice move around. For example, the date of the winter solstice for 2014 is Dec. 21, 2014, and for 2015, the date will be Dec. 22, 2015.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    When do the days start getting longer?

    A:

    The days start getting longer every year after the winter solstice, which falls on the first day of winter, the shortest day of the year. The first day of winter is typically December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere.

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  • Q:

    Why is June 21 the longest day?

    A:

    The summer solstice is the longest day of the year because the Earth's tilt is greatest toward the Sun on that day. The axis of the Earth is tilted 23.5 degrees from the vertical as it follows its orbital path. This means that for part of the year, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted closer to the Sun, giving that half of the planet more daylight per revolution.

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  • Q:

    What is the longest day of the year?

    A:

    The longest day of the year for people in the Northern Hemisphere is on June 21. This marks the summer solstice when the sun is exactly overhead on the Tropic of Cancer at 23.5 degrees latitude.

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  • Q:

    When is the first day of autumn?

    A:

    The first day of autumn falls on the autumnal equinox, which varies in date from Sept. 22 to Sept. 23, depending on the year. An equinox is when there is an equal amount of daylight and darkness in a day.

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