Monday, December 22, 2014

A Little More Daylight

Today there is more daylight than yesterday, but you probably didn't notice.

Yesterday, the 21st of December, was what people here in the northern hemisphere like to call "the shortest day of the year." I like to call it my father's birthday as well, but that's not the point. The point is, all days are actually the same length (unless they add a leap second or some crazy nonsense). Yesterday wasn't the shortest day of the year, but it was the day when the Earth received the smallest amount of solar radiation, due to the tilt of the planet's axis. Winter has officially started.

Today, the 22nd of December, will get slightly more sunlight. But just by a few seconds. Here in central Pennsylvania, we had 9 hours and 16 minutes of daylight yesterday. It won't be until the 26th when we can say we got 9 hours and 17 minutes.

But we're starting to pick up some momentum...we only have to wait until the 28th to get 9 hours and 18 minutes of sun, and we can add another minute on the 20th. At the beginning of January 2015, we'll be adding 1 minute per day, and by the end of the month we'll add 2 minutes per day.

By mid-March, we'll be enjoying around 12 hours of sunlight (when daylight and darkness hours are equal, Spring begins) and we are adding around 3 minutes daily. It slows down as we get closer to June 21, when we max-out at 15 hours and 5 minutes.

I like tables of this kind of information. Here you can find the daylight/darkness table for someplace close to where you live: Duration of Daylight/Darkness Tables comic for 22 December 2014