The first sign of spring

This weekend marked the first sign that spring will come again. We have reached the earliest sunset of the year–4:20 pm–and will start seeing slightly more light at the end of the day even as the sunrises get later for another month. The reason why the solstice, earliest sunset, and earliest sunrise are spread over a month is due to the Earth approaching perihelion. Because we’re moving faster in our orbit, the local noon is changing quite a bit right now. (Want to know more? A further explanation will involve the dreaded analemma.) You do not see this around the summer solstice: the earliest sunrise and latest sunset are very close to the day of the solstice.

I’m happy with even this small sign that warmer, greener days are indeed in the future.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Hey, thanks for reminding me that the earliest sunset was coming up. I had meant to write about it, and then forgot all about it. 4:20??? Jeez, that’s early-you must be in the far eastern part of your time zone!

    Reply

  2. Posted by lakechicagoshores on December 14, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Yep, Chicago is just barely inside the Central time zone, so everything is on the early side. Interestingly enough, local noon is just a few minutes after clock noon, at least when we’re on standard time.

    Reply

  3. […] three months ago, I wrote about the first sign of spring. I would have never guessed it would have taken until now to see a real sign of spring: a bulb […]

    Reply

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