Winter Solstice 2015

December solstice 2015

22 December 2015 05:00 UTC

Winter Solstice 2015
Winter Solstice 2015

View of Earth at the time of the solstice in December 2015, as seen by Meteosat-7 and Meteosat-10.

Last Updated

22 February 2022

Published on

22 December 2015

By Mark Higgins and Jose Prieto (EUMETSAT)

The December solstice marks the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere (summer solstice) and the shortest day for the Northern Hemisphere (winter solstice).

 Meteosat-7 Visible, 22 December 05:00 UTC.
Figure1: Meteosat-7 Visible, 22 December 05:00 UTC.

That difference can be seen by how much of the Earth is visible in the Meteosat images. The Sun illuminates more of the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year, and the North Pole remains in darkness.

Figure 1 (above) shows the view of the Earth from the Meteosat-7 satellite, covering the Indian Ocean, at 05:00 UTC just after the solstice at 04:48 UTC.

 Meteosat-10 Natural Colour RGB, 22 Dec 05:00 UTC
Figure 2: Meteosat-10 Natural Colour RGB, 22 Dec 05:00 UTC
Download animation, 21 Dec 21:30 UTC–22 Dec 09:00 UTC.

Figure 2 shows the view at the same time but from Meteosat-10 using the Natural Colour RGB.

Even at Greenwich midnight, grazing reflection on calm water surfaces produces a strong signal close to the Antarctica, where the Sun is 24 hours above the horizon. In particular this graphic shows the location of the Meteosat sunglint centre for any time of the year.

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