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Slowly but inexorably days grow longer

As we approach the shortest and darkest days of the year, I thought I'd share something positive I look forward to every year at this time, the earliest sunset. Due to the tilt in the Earth's axis, the earliest sunset occurs much sooner for this area than the winter solstice. This year Dec. 8, had the sun setting at 4:20:01. While the days will continue to shorten, we'll lose light only at the beginning of the day and the sun has begun setting later by a few seconds every day since.

As a bicyclist, this means I don't have to continue leaving earlier in the day for my rides after the 8th. Of course, my friends and fellow members in the Thames Amateur Astronomical Society, who are imagers, like early darkness and don't share my joy. They will also likely not agree with my continued support for year-round Daylight Savings Time like we had for a period in the 1970s.

I think most people dislike the changeovers between time standards, but most enjoy the additional light later in the day. I've never accepted any of the reasons for keeping the winters dark on standard time. Those other light-loving people can now join me in celebrating later sunsets. Spring is almost here!

George Blahun Jr.




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