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Personal solstices: EarthSky community photos

Personal solstices: Five images of sunrise rays beaming out from a notch in a mountain ridgeline.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Raul Cortes in Monterrey, Mexico, created this personal solstices composite from images captured on December 22, 2021. He wrote: “Mountain and sun attended their annual winter solstice reunion. The sun showed over the Horse Saddle Hill exactly in the middle of the saddle on December 22 for this 2021 solstice, as seen from El Obispado Hill in Monterrey, Mexico. Once again, they met together on this day, as they did last year and will do next year.” Thank you, Raul!

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Personal solstices: photos by the EarthSky community

A wooden wall with a curved line on it marked with degrees and month names.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Rick Williams of Woodland, California, wrote in December 2020: “This was taken one day before last year’s solstice, at noon. I have a small mirror in front of my house, which reflects the sun onto my outside wall. Every day, I mark the reflection on the wall exactly at noon, which delineates an analemma over the course of a year. It took me a couple of years to get it done. Since the sun is lower in the sky, its reflection is lower on the wall. At the solstice (sol = sun, sistere = to stand still), the sun seems to pause and reverse its course. It is directly overhead at noon at 23.5 deg S, Tropic of Capricorn.” Thank you, Rick!
View along low wall of irregular limestone chunks, in thin woods, toward bright dawn.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Markham Starr captured this image at the 2019 December solstice in North Stonington, Connecticut. He wrote: “Native American winter solstice sunrise wall. Sun rises over the next hilltop 7/10 of a mile away. There is a spring right where the sun rises over that ridge line, so the sun also rises over water.” Thank you, Markham!
Sun through thin trees in distance with long shadows over perfectly level snowy surface.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Leslie Scopes-Anderson in Cooperstown, New York, captured this image at the December 2017 solstice. She wrote: “Sunset on a frozen pond shows the returning of the light.” Thank you, Leslie!
Sun, newly risen, viewed through snowy woods with tall thin bare trees.
Judy Glattstein in New Jersey wrote in 2016, “Houses here are spread apart. No chimneys, no standing stones. But in the cold of a solstice morning the trees serve to define the rising of the sun.” Thank you, Judy!

Personal solstices in shadows

City building tops with shadows.
These next few are all about shadows. Ben Orlove wrote in 2016: “On the mornings close to the winter solstice, when the sun’s course is at its lowest and southernmost, the shadow of a chimney across the street from my building falls directly on the peak of the adjacent roof and lands on the wall next to it. Our own Stonehenge!” Thank you, Ben! Read more about this image.
A man and a woman sitting on the ground measuring shadows on paper.
Capturing the year’s longest noontime shadow – December 21, 2016 – in Hyderabad, India. Photo by PadmaSri Naidu.
City below a citadel with columns of ruinous Parthenon visible at top.
Athens, Greece, at noon on the day of the solstice – December 21, 2016 – by Nikolaos Pantazis. Notice the long shadows!
Swooping desert sand dune with dark line along the curved top. Black and white photo.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Wells Shoemaker captured this image on the day of the December solstice in 2005 in Death Valley National Park. He said: “The Eureka Dunes, rising 750 feet (230 meters) above the desert floor, are among the tallest in North America. The low solstice sun casts the longest shadows of the year.” Thanks, Wells!

Bottom line: Personal solstices – photos from the EarthSky community around the world – showing what the December solstice means to them.

December 24, 2021

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