(sŏlˈstĭs) From the latin word solstitium meaning “sun standing still”.
You have arrived. Now, ready for some cosmic talk?
It’s all how you see it. Imagine you are the center of the universe……
To helps us to understand the motion of our solar system in relation to what we observe on earth we use a model called the celestial sphere. Pretend that the earth is within an imaginary sphere and everything we see in the sky is just a projection onto that outer sphere. When the sun appears to move across the sky it’s path is called the ecliptic. Since our planet’s rotation is tilted at a 23.5 degree angle to our orbital plane (plane of the ecliptic) the sun appears to rise to higher or lower points from the horizon over the course of a year. The solstice occurs when the ecliptic reaches its southernmost or northernmost point from the celestial equator. At this point it actually appears to the observer that the sun is “standing still” for a few days on its path across the celestial sphere before changing the direction of its arc.
A beautiful way to imagine the Solstice is to picture that we are traveling around the sun. The winter solstice describes that day when we round the corner and start on our path toward our summer position. So, on the first day of winter, we turn to face our summer path! It’s always darkest before the dawn… Happy Solstice!
It’s now time for the final riddle…
GENTLY and LOW
TREES, WINGS and ROCK will show.
Printed flowers on a screen.
Rocks light up at night
and stars will beam.
What circles of gold
will leave behind.
Observing the sky under a line.