Winter Solstice : Tonight will not be the longest night in the history of Earth

Winter Solstice : Tonight will not be the longest night in the history of Earth

Winter Solstice Begins Tonight, meaning it’s the official start of the winter season, as well as the shortest day and longest night of the year.

According to experts, tonight’s period of darkness will be longer than any other since the planet started spinning – right around the time it was first formed some 4.5 billion years ago.

They say this is because the rotation of the Earth is slowing over time and that, every year, scientists estimate the length of a day increases by about 15 to 25 millionths of a second.

So, while it may be a tiny amount over time, it forces official timekeepers to add a leap second every few years.

The winter solstice occurs for the northern hemisphere in December and for the southern hemisphere in June.

It will be marked at 10.03pm tonight as the moment when the North Pole is tilted furthest from the sun, as the Earth continues on its orbit.

The solstice does not always happen on December 21, as it sometimes nudges into the early hours of December 22. This will happen again next year.

The hour of day also varies. Last year’s arrived at 5.11pm. Next year’s will arrive at 4.38am.