Monday, December 15, 2008

Sun Standing Still

Grace and Peace

I fell asleep on the couch watching PBS one night last week after teaching and awoke at the close of the broadcast day to hear this interesting bit of information about the Winter Solstice from Star Gazer's Jack Horkheimer (I seem to see this show only after falling asleep - I never stay awake to watch it, but I always get such a kick out of it...)

"Solstice means 'standing still sun.' Daylight won’t begin to lengthen significantly for a few days. For example, here in San Francisco, at winter solstice we have 9 hours, 33 minutes of daylight. Our day will remain that length in minutes until Christmas, before gaining a minute more.
"In fact, even though winter solstice brings the shortest day of the year, it doesn’t feel like it to many people. That’s because more people experience sunsets than sunrises. At mid-northern latitudes, the earliest sunsets occur during the first week of December. Sunset actually occurs a little bit later each day as we move closer to the winter solstice. The days really are getting shorter, but it’s because the sun is rising later each morning. That’s why the days at the beginning of December usually feel the shortest."

I've always been keenly interested in celestial happenings, but I daresay that I've never gotten quite this excited...

1 comment:

Susan Beauchemin said...

Huh! I've been trying to walk in the early morning so I have been noticing the sun rising later and later.