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December 10, 2003

Take Two

There's been alot of confusion about my earlier post about the "shortest day of the year". Let's see if I can say it better this time.

First, I agree that the official shortest day of the year is Dec 21, give or take a day. That's the day when the time from sunrise to sunset is shortest.

But, Dec 8 is the day when the sun sets at the earliest time of day. On that day it sets at 4:08 pm here in Boston. After then the sunset starts getting later in the day, 4:09, 4:10, etc.

Here's where it gets complicated. Since I am very seldom awake at sunrise, the daylight at that hour is not really important to me. To me, it's more important when we start having more daylight in the afternoon.

So I consider it an important seasonal milestone when we start having "longer days" in the afternoon, when I'm up and about.

Dec 8 is that milestone. In my world, the days have started getting longer again.

BTW, if you are in the other camp, and care more about sunrise than sunset, then your days don't start getting longer until early January. That's when the latest sunrise occurs.

Posted by jghiii at December 10, 2003 01:45 PM
Posted by: dave on December 11, 2003 12:35 PM

Please reveal your source for this information.
The sun rises and sets at different times of the day through out the year based on the pitch of the earth wich changes over the year. So your saying that the sunrise and sun set are change at different rates, how could this be posible if the earth is rotating at a consant rate ??

Posted by: jgh on December 11, 2003 01:02 PM

Here's a table that shows sunrise and sunset times for Portsmouth NH (I couldn't find one for Boston, but it's the same thing).

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