Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sunrise, Sunset...

Tomorrow we celebrate the Winter Solstice. Not celebrate as in dancing around trees like druid hippies, but celebrate as in the psychological victory of knowing that the days are going to start getting longer as we head inexorably towards summer. Yes, the first day of winter, and we're already thinking about summer.

Now, some might say, "But Nuke, my calendar says the first day of winter is Saturday!" Which is true if you live in an east-coast-centric universe. However, here in Seattle, winter starts at 10:08pm PST tomorrow night, so there.

Talk of the solstice got me to wondering. We all know that the first day of winter is the shortest day of the year (for most of us, anyway). But how do actual hours of sunlight/darkness map out to actual sunrise and sunset times? You might be surprised; I know I was.

According to this chart at the Pacific Science Center, the latest sunrise occurs in winter, at 7:58am, from December 30th through January 3rd. That's a good week after the solstice! Also, the summer solstice occurs around June 21st, but the latest sunset, at 9:11pm (don't forget to factor in Daylight Savings Time) goes from June 21st through June 30th.

Who says you can't learn anything from the internet?

1 comment:

Tony Easton said...

I'm...impressed...yeah...