Winter solstice marks longest nights in PH | Inquirer News

Winter solstice marks longest nights in PH

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 12:25 AM December 22, 2016

Winter solstice has come, bringing the longest nights for 2016.

In its astronomical diary, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the sun reached the winter solstice on Dec. 21 at 6:44 p.m.

Winter solstice is when the sun is at its farthest point south of the equator, marking the completion of the Earth’s annual circuit around the sun, and signaling the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere.


For the Philippines, this means “nights will be longer than daytime,” Pagasa said. “That’s why sunsets have become earlier, or the sun has been rising later,” said Dario de la Cruz, chief of Pagasa’s space science section in an interview on Wednesday.


Dela Cruz said the Philippines has actually been experiencing the longest nights of the year since Dec. 17, which is expected to last until Dec. 26.  Winter solstice marks the fifth of those 10 days.

In Metro Manila, nighttime has stretched to 12 hours and 46 minutes since Dec. 17, which is expected to last until Dec. 26. Northernmost areas, like Basco, Batanes, have experienced up to 13 hours of nighttime, De la Cruz said.

He said the duration of these longest nighttimes differ, depending on the area.  “In northernmost areas in the Philippines, like Ilocos Norte or Batanes, they have longer nights than those in Mindanao,” he said.

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