The Sun’s path appears farthest north or south, depending on which half of the planet you are on during the solstice.
NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 21 December 2022: During the Earth’s trip around the Sun, solstices come around twice a year. The summer solstice begins around June 21 whereas the December solstice arrives on December 21. Solstices also mark the change of seasons throughout the year. The first day of the December Solstice, also known as the Winter Solstice marks the day where the Sun is at its Southernmost position in the sky, which is approximately 23.5 degrees South. No matter where you’re looking from, the Sun will always be visible at that position.
NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is a stunning snapshot of Sun’s Halo captured at the beginning of the December Solstice. The image was captured by Goran Strand who works as a freelance astrophotographer based in Sweden. He has been published in various esteemed platforms such as NASA, Space Weather, and his captured footage has even been used by some of the most popular artists in the world including Coldplay.
NASA explained below the image,” Today is the December solstice, marking an astronomical beginning of summer in the southern hemisphere and winter in the north. On its yearly trek through planet Earth’s skies, at this solstice the Sun reaches its southernmost declination, 23.5 degrees south, at 21:48 UTC. About 4 days ago the Sun was near this seasonal southern limit and so only just above the horizon at local noon over Ostersund in central Sweden. This view looking over the far northern lakeside city finds the midday Sun with a beautiful solar ice halo.”
“Naturally occurring atmospheric ice crystals can produce the tantalizing halo displays, refracting and reflecting the sunlight through their hexagonal geometry. Still, with the Sun low and near the horizon in the clear sky, likely sources of the ice crystals producing this intense halo are snow cannons. Operating at a local ski area, the snowmaking machines create a visible plume at the top of the nearby island Froson toward the right side of the panorama,” the post further explained.
According to NASA, the Sun’s path appears farthest north or south, depending on which half of the planet you are on at the solstice. Seasons change on Earth because the planet is slightly tilted on its axis as it travels around the Sun.