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Winter solstice started 4:48 Monday afternoon

Dec. 21 is shortest day of the year

Posted: December 21, 2009 3:23 p.m.
Updated: December 21, 2009 3:34 p.m.

In this two-minute exposure, the rising moon illuminates clouds sweeping across the evening sky over St. Martin's In The Field, an Episcopal summer chapel, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, in Biddeford Pool, Maine. With the approach winter solstice, Maine now receives only about nine hours of daylight.

 
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Monday is Winter Solstice. The good news is the hours of daylight are going to start getting longer.

The solstice is the day in which the earth appears to stand still and then shifts direction in its elliptical orbit of the sun.

By Jan. 1, Anchorage, Alaska will get 12 more minutes of daylight.

University of Alaska astronomer Travis Rector says that at this time of year, the sun moves north in the sky, and it is also moving to the east. As a result, that means it will rise later and set later.

The sun also rises a bit higher in the sky each day after today's solstice. And that means more warmth is on the way.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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