Today marks the winter solstice for 2015. The winter solstice, for the those living in the earth's northern hemisphere, is when the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky. As the earth orbits the sun it maintains a 23 degree tilt in relation to its orbital plane around the sun. That's called axial tilt. Today the earth's northern hemisphere reached the maximum point that it can be tilted away from the sun. From this point forward the days will begin to lengthen as more of the northern hemisphere is exposed to the sun. Six months from now the earth's southern hemisphere will have reached the maximum point that it can be tilted away from the sun and it will be winter there. But for folks in the Northern Hemisphere that will mark the summer solstice. The summer solstice occurs on June 20 and marks the time when the Northern Hemisphere is most inclined toward the sun. This past June I began making time-lapse videos of sunsets from Red Hill in Marion County, Ala. I recorded one sunset each month for six months and put them into a video that you may watch below. The first sunset was recorded around the time of the summer solstice. The final sunset was recorded a few days ago. In the video you can note how the earth's axial tilt has moved the sunsets further and further south over the past six months. Enjoy.
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
He can be reached at email@example.com