Saturday, December 21, 2013

Return of the Sun

Snowless Winter Sunrise by Doug Wallick

Happy Winter Solstice!

According to various science sites today at 12:11pm ET the sun appears directly overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn.  This is the moment when the Earth's North Pole is tilted furthest away from the sun.  That makes today is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.

A curious note is that the sunset is already happening later each day.  The earliest sunsets happened around December 8th.  But the sunrises are also happening later!  Today we will have 2 seconds less sunlight than yesterday and tomorrow will have 2 more seconds of sunlight than today.  The latest sunrise will happen sometime around January 8th, but our days will have lengthened by more than twelve minutes by then.

All those science facts mean to me is that although we are still deep within winter here, later today there will be a shift back toward light and heat.  We may not see its effects soon, but we will eventually.

Tonight there will be a fire in the backyard to laugh at the darkness and rejoice in the return of the sun.  Maybe some of you will be there!

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