Winter Solstice

The winter solstice, the shortest day and first day of winter, comes about December 21 and has recently past. The days are already becoming longer, so you early risers may wonder why it is still just as dark when you get up. It is not your imagination.

All this is explained in a previous posting. It has to do with the tilt of the earth. Although December 21 is the shortest day, sunrise does not begin to come earlier until about January 7. Between those two dates, sunrise is still coming later, but sunset is, too, even more so. The days are getting longer, but sunrise is the only time important to me, so January 7 is the only date I notice (The Unitarian-Universalist church across the street from me does not celebrate Christmas, but does celebrate the winter solstice.)

At first, after January 7, sunrise only comes slightly earlier, a fraction of a minute each day, but soon accelerates quickly. By the end of January, the earlier sunrise is obvious.

Have patience. Build a Stonehenge in your backyard while you wait. But remember the old saying, As the days get longer, the cold gets harder.


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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