By Michael Dorausch, D.C.

December 21, 2008 marks the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. It is a time when the Sun’s position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance from the position of the observer, meaning in the northern hemisphere it is the shortest day of the year.

The winter solstice marks the reversal in gradually shortening days and the event is celebrated in many cultures as a time of renewing or rebirth. Here is a collection of photographs taken in different locations throughout the Northern Hemisphere during the day of winter solstice.

The first rays of the solstice dawn light up the ancient megaliths of Stonehenge. Man has stood here and watched this annual spectacle for more than five millenia.

The first rays of the solstice dawn light up the ancient megaliths of Stonehenge. Man has stood here and watched this annual spectacle for more than five millenia.

This picture was taken on the winter solstice of 2000. It was taken from Schoodic, using Acadia National Park as a backdrop to measure the suns seasonal movements across the sky.

This picture was taken on the winter solstice of 2000. It was taken from Schoodic, using Acadia National Park as a backdrop to measure the sun's seasonal movements across the sky.

Winter Solstice Coos Bay, Oregon Coast, December 21, 2007

Winter Solstice Coos Bay, Oregon Coast, December 21, 2007

The setting sun on December 21, 2006

The setting sun on December 21, 2006

A little gulf of mexico sunshine for anybody who may be lacking on the shortest day of the year.

A little gulf of mexico sunshine for anybody who may be lacking on the shortest day of the year.

Scripps Pier in San Diego - December 21, 2005 Winter Solstice

Scripps Pier in San Diego - December 21, 2005 Winter Solstice

At the setting of the sun on the winter solstice, 2007.

At the setting of the sun on the winter solstice, 2007.

The Illinois Bayou flows into the Arkansas River at Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas. This image was captured at the end of the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere).

The Illinois Bayou flows into the Arkansas River at Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas. This image was captured at the end of the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere).

The sunset of the shortest day of the year... location in the northern hemisphere unknown

The sunset of the shortest day of the year... location in the northern hemisphere unknown

I wanted to catch the sun as it set for the winter solstice but was late getting to my spot, and even so there was fog/clouds out at sea on the horizon.

Photographer: I wanted to catch the sun as it set for the winter solstice but was late getting to my spot, and even so there was fog/clouds out at sea on the horizon.

Location unknown in northern hemisphere. Winter Solstice 2005 from someones front door.

Location unknown in northern hemisphere. Winter Solstice 2005 from someone's front door.

Ten minutes before the sun disappeared behind the horizon. - Winter solstice 2006

Ten minutes before the sun disappeared behind the horizon. - Winter solstice 2006

Today the winds died and after two days of Kona (southern winds) wind, the VOG (volcanic haze from the Big Island volcanos) totally obsured the Koolau Mountains and most of the Bay. The sunset tonight was a little different than normal. - December 21, 2005

Today the winds died and after two days of Kona (southern winds) wind, the VOG (volcanic haze from the Big Island volcanos) totally obsured the Koolau Mountains and most of the Bay. The sunset tonight was a little different than normal. - December 21, 2005

About twenty minutes before sundown the sun appeared from behind a layer of clouds.

About twenty minutes before sundown the sun appeared from behind a layer of clouds.

Sunset at Stonehenge at the Winter Solstice. - December 2004

Sunset at Stonehenge at the Winter Solstice. - December 2004

In the northern hemisphere, 2008 Winter solstice takes place at 12:04 on December 21. It marks the beginning of lengthening days and it’s a great time to reflect on the past six months, and celebrate the birth of the days ahead.