Science provides us with some interesting curiosities about winter, did you know that meteorological winter is not the same as astronomical winter?
The image that has been built around the idea of winter is often highlighted by its large snowy landscapes of pristine color. A time of year when the end of the year celebrations arrive and the lights flood the road, however, it is not experienced the same in all regions of the world. Winter is unique in different geographical areas and these curiosities that science provides us, help us to understand more about it.
Scientific curiosities about winter
Astronomical and meteorological winter are different
The astronomical winter it enters annually on December 21 in the northern hemisphere and on June 21 in the southern hemisphere. It is marked by the winter solstice that occurs thanks to the movement of the Earth known as the Precession of the Equinoxes. The planet is inclined about 23.5 ° over the perpendicular marked by the ecliptic and that causes one of the two hemispheres to be closer to the Sun than the other. Consequently, when it is winter in the north, the south experiences summer and vice versa.
However the meteorological winter It is different since it starts earlier, covering the three-month period from the beginning of December and runs until the end of March. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says it is based on the annual temperature cycle and calendar. Different from the astronomical one that is based on the movements of the Earth.
Effects on the psyche
If there is a remarkable constant in terrestrial life, it is the ability to experience different rhythms. That is, the human being and all life on earth, is subject to the loops of the planet. Day and night, hot and cold, light and dark, shape the characteristics of living beings. This is why the seasons of the year represent a remarkable force in our lives, as they force us to modify our behavior to adapt to them.
So when winter arrives and the days get shorter, the lack of light and the drop in temperature also impact the human psyche. Different research have addressed this issue and found that, As a result of the lack of light, an effect called ‘seasonal depression’ or also called ‘winter blues’ occurs. Mood swings and unexplained sadness are the symptoms most described by those who have experienced it. An improvement is also described as spring re-establishes itself.
The Cantabrian wind
During winter the cold winds intensify and bring with them a singing winter song that we hear in the form of a whistle. And although this can occur during any season of the year, it is during winter when it occurs most frequently. It is produced because the winds blow with greater intensity and when encountering obstacles, the zone of passage of the wind narrows and experiences a greater acceleration which is the one that produces the peculiar sound.
The lowest temperature on the planet
The lowest temperature that thermometers have shown since the weather records began has been in Antarctica. The continent most attached to the South Pole is characterized by its harsh conditions, which is why it is completely uninhabited. 10th August 2010 the East Antarctic Plateau marked -93.2 ° C, the lowest temperature ever recorded.
With winter, some regions more attached to the poles, experience the arrival of snow that holds great curiosities. Then fractality takes over the regions that see the distinctive crystal flakes fall in winter.. They are formed by sublimation of water vapor within cold clouds, different ice crystals are formed that fall from the sky.
Nature is perfectly reflected in these crystalline sparkles. Snowflakes are the most natural winter form of beauty and geometric precision that we know of. Although we do not see them with the naked eye, it is a delight to unearth their patterns and discover that each one is unique, there is no flake equal to another. They are also of fractal beauty, which means that no matter how much we move away their geometry or move it away, it will always look the same.