Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nearing the solstice

The winter solstice is just a few days away, on December 21st. It's the shortest day of the year, but I find it interesting that it's not the day that the sunrise and sunset times start changing.

The earliest sunset (here), at 4:11PM occurred from December 3rd through the 15th, with the sunset time increasing by a minute on December 16th and continuing to increase a minute at a time every few days. On the other hand, the sun is still rising a little later each day, waiting until January 8th when the sunrise time starts getting earlier. It's funny, my assumption was that both ends of the day would start changing at the same time. As it turns out that wasn't a good assumption.

Curious about the sunrise and sunset times in your town? (If you're in the United States,) check the US Naval Observatory's Sun or Moon Rise/Set Table for One Year page. For locations outside of the US, click here for a page where you can request sunrise & sunset times by specifying latitude and longitude instead of an inside-the-US location name.