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Longest night in PH on Wednesday

The Northern Hemisphere, which includes the Philippines, will experience its longest night and shortest day this year on Wednesday.

“That is when the 2016 winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will happen,” said Dario dela Cruz, astronomy chief of the State weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration.

Dela Cruz said that on that day at 6:44 p.m., the Sun will be at its southernmost position as seen from Earth. Thus, he said, the forthcoming longest night’s duration will vary among Northern Hemisphere areas.

Such duration will span more time in areas that are farther from the equator, he said.

“In the Philippines’ case, that means the duration of the longest night will be most lengthy in extreme Northern Luzon and shortest in Mindanao,” he noted.

Extreme Northern Luzon and Mindanao are the country’s farthest and closest areas to the equator, respectively.

Solstice is the astronomical event during which the Sun is at its greatest northerly or southerly distance from the equator, the imaginary line dividing Earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Parallel to the equator are imaginary lines of latitude circling Earth and running towards the planet’s north and south ends. (PNA)