A common question that people have which can be helpful to know for a variety of reasons, is when the darkest night of the year is. I decided to spend some time researching to find out exactly when this is.
So, when is the darkest night of the year? The darkest night of the year will depend on what hemisphere you are in. For the Northern Hemisphere the darkest night of the year will be either on the 20th, 21st, 22nd or 23rd of December each year. For the Southern Hemisphere, the darkest night of the year will be on either the 20th, 21st, 22nd or 23rd of June Each year. These events are otherwise known as a Solstice and is when the sun reaches the furthest point from the equator.
As you can see a lot depends on the country that you reside and the hemisphere it falls in.
Equally, the specific date changes each year, and this has a lot to do with the calendar system.
It is also true that due to the earth being spherical, both hemispheres experience a different season at the same time.
So, during the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll get the darkest day, at the same time, it will be the Summer Solstice and the longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.
Let us now take a closer look at some of those other similarly related questions that you may have regarding the night and darkness.
What Is The Darkest Time Of The Night?
The darkest time of the night, in either hemisphere, will be midnight (or 12 a.m).
This is true for all seasons, although a different amount of darkness is to be expected between them.
At 12 am, the sun will be farthest below the horizon, and this results in a darker sky.
Equally, when there is no sunrise or sunset, for example by the poles in the Summer and Winter, the sky is going to be the least bright.
Astronomical Twilight is the term given for the period where the sky is completely dark and is best for astronomical observations. This is when the faintest of stars can typically be observed (so long as there is no other light pollution).
What Is The Darkest Month Of The Year
The darkest month of the year in the northern hemisphere is December, whereas the darkest month of the year in the southern hemisphere is June.
Equally, the lightest month of the year in the northern hemisphere is June, whereas the darkest month of the year in the southern hemisphere is December.
The darkest night of the year will be within the range of a few days, with the specific month depending mostly on the hemisphere in question.
December and June are the two significant months of the solstice to remember and consider here, with the Winter and Summer solstice being celebrations in many cultures.
Hey, my name is Chris. I’m a passionate and seasoned astronomer who loves nothing more than observing the night sky. I also love researching, learning, and writing all things Space and the Universe. I created Astronomy Scope to share my knowledge, experience, suggestions, and recommendations of what I have learned along the way while helping anyone to get into and maximize their enjoyment of the hobby.