Why Isn't The Earliest Sunset On Dec. 21?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Have you noticed that the sunsets stop getting earlier a week or so ahead of the "shortest day of the year" on or around Dec. 21 -- the day you'd think would have the earliest sunset?

The answer is that our way of keeping time assumes constants that aren't exactly constant. Earth's path around the sun isn't a circle, it's an ellipse. We orbit faster around the sun in winter when we're closest, and slowest when were furthest away in summer.

These little changes mean the sun is not at its highest point in the sky when we say it's noon -- it can be off a few minutes.

Check out this article below for even more details -- imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov

Your Photos

YouNews Get your fish on! Get your fish on!
Lowland lakes opening coming soon, tie up your flies and grease your leaders. This fat Rainbow caught in Lake Leland (Quilcene) couple days ago.
YouNews Early morning photos Early morning photos
Took these shots around 7am Easter Sunday using a Nikon D3000
DSLR and a 200mm telephoto lens.
YouNews 12th Egg!!!!! 12th Egg!!!!!
Even the Easter Bunny is a 12!!!!!!!!!!!