By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
The longest nighttime and shortest daytime of the year is due this December 22, during an astronomical event called “winter solstice.”
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), nights get longer in the country due to winter solstice, an astronomical term regarding the position of the sun “lying at its farthest point” south of the equator.
For other countries, it signals the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere.
The Philippines, which is located in the equatorial region does not have winter season, but the country experiences colder than usual weather during this period.
The long night will bring colder weather to most parts of the country because of the longer cooling effect of the landmass.
Sunrise on December 22 will be at 6:16 a.m. and sunset will be at 5:32 p.m., which is equivalent to 12 hours and 44 minutes of darkness or nighttime in all parts of the country. This is the longest nighttime of the year.
The winter solstice also signals the earth’s completion of another annual circuit around the sun, PAGASA pointed out.
During this period, the sun is slightly directed towards the southern hemisphere, thus sunlight does not directly hit the country. (Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz)