Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year

When I was still living in the Lower 48, there were a lot of work days where I got to work in the dark and I left work in the dark.  If we didn't leave work for lunch, we would not see the sun at all.  That's what happens when the window in your office faces the hallway, and no one in your department has a window to the out of doors.

And that's why I think the short hours of sun each day have not yet affected me negatively.

Today, December 21, is the shortest day of the year for the Northern Hemisphere.  The farther north you are, the shorter the day.  The good folks up in Barrow Alaska haven't see a sunrise in a month or so, so the fact that I will have five hours and six minutes of "sun" today is a good thing!

Don't get me wrong.  We don't get a full on view of the sun those 5 hours.  There are a lot of trees to our south (which is where the sun is) and we are directly east of a ridge, which means our sunset at this particular address is earlier than those who live higher.

Our trees do get a pretty good view of the sun, though.

the trees to the South

the trees on the North of the yard, facing North.
Look at that pretty blue sky...

Let's take a look at how much daylight there was on important days in this little Alaskan adventure of ours:

  • June 15 we arrive in Glennallen for Jeff's interviews: 19 hours 44 minutes 35 seconds
  • July 15 Jeff arrives in Glennallen with the UHaul:  18 hours 46 minutes 08 seconds
  • September 21 I arrive in Glennallen, finally:  12 hours 21 minutes 07 seconds
  • December 21, Winter Solstice and our shortest day:  5 hours 6 minutes 13 seconds
And so, each day for the next 6 months will gain more daylight from today!  We will start by gaining seconds of daylight each day, then a minute, and around Spring Equinox we will be gaining 5+ minutes of sunlight a day!

click to enlarge

1 comment:

  1. We have a daily count up of sunshine!! It's so fun to see how it starts out slow, and then rapidly increases until it's practically a freight train. hooray!!