Home
Up
Evolution and the Anthropic Principle
Richard Dawkins vs Ken Wilber
Where Am I
The Cheshire Cat
I Could Have Been a Contender
What I Wish Id Said
Keeping Up with the World
The Flight of the Phoenix
The Power of Fog
Naming the Unnamed
Layers
Principles in Art
Spirit and Matter
The Enlightenment Conundrum
On Believing
Water? What Water?
Retro
Telling Stories 2
I believe in Rainbows
Whom Can We Believe
Patterns by Paul Simon and Douglas Hofstadter
Copyright Inheritance
Broad Minded
Beliefs Part Two
A Long drawn-out solstice
The Quest for, and the Illusion of, Certainty
To the Ends of the Earth
Astonishment
The Meaning Of Life
We Hold These Truths
There are Beliefs
Music and Language
Circular Thinking
Runaway World
Deep Playmate
An Alchemy of Telling
Habits
Cultural Genes
The Joy of Science
The Conundrum of Human Nature
No, The Computer Isn't Smarter than I Am!
A Rant on Religion
The West Wing Turning Right?
The Geometry of Spring
Music as Language
What is Art
Beauty and Spirit
You Don't Understand Us
The New God of Probability
Gene Hackman as President
Being Lifted Out of the Ordinary
The Head and the Heart
Pay Attention!
Music Poetry and Meaning
On Seeking Truth
Perceptions and Reality
The Marriage Bond
Taboo is a Right
Copyright versus Copyleft
Who
Analogue
Commitment
Cycles of Transcendence
Prejudice
Ego and Self
The Big Picture
Perspective
Mindfulness as Larger Mind
Assignment
The Power of Words
Meteors
The State of the Union
Click
Conversations
Intuition
Out of My Mind
Family Thoughts
One Life
Telling Stories
Small World
Bigger Realities
What Comes Next
Humor as a Higher Level of Consciousness
Sometimes Everything Goes Wrong
Emotional Resonance
Extraordinary Respect
Insight Meditation
Us and Them
Paradox and Paradigm
To Reach
I Don't Know
Don the Romantic
The Guy in the Blue Saab
The Sound of Silence
Eating is an Intimate Act
Evolution of Spirit
On Cloning and Other . . .
Creativity and Psychic Phenomena
Magic in My Life
My Difficulty with Aaron
Mindful & Mystic
Taste of Irony
Music Appreciation
Levels of Consciousness

A Long, Drawn-Out Solstice

 The winter solstice this year came on about December 22. It was the shortest day of the year, but not by much. Thereís a ten-day stretch in which the earliest sunsets and latest sunrises of the year are within a minute of each other.

What I find interesting is that, while these time markers are nearly stationary at the solstice, one is actually going in one direction and the other in the other. In Southeast Michigan we had our earliest sunset around December 10, at 5:02 PM. At the solstice, the sun has begun its upward journey, and sets at 5:05 PM. Our latest sunrise will be at 8:04 AM, on about January 4. At the solstice, it is still getting later, at 8:01 AM.

At the other solstice in June, the same phenomenon occurs: earliest sunrise and latest sunset are moving in opposite directions. June 15 gives us our earliest sunrise, at 4:57 AM, and the latest sunset comes on June 27, at 8:16 PM. Midway between these dates is the longest day of the year, on June 21.

It all has to do with the curvature of the earth and how the sunís rays reach around the horizon. I donít know enough about geometry to figure it out for myself, so I depend upon the U.S. Navel Observatory to provide me with a chart of sun times. If you want to find out what these times are for your location, go to their web site:

 http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.html

December 24, 2006

Comment on this essay? Send me an e-mail, please.
(And mention the title of the essay, too)