Sunday, October 09, 2016

One hour before sundown

It's that time of year again, when the days grow noticeably shorter. The long, slow dawns, when the orange glow warmed my window at 5:00 AM, are no more. Now, I make my morning coffee in the dark. And a short walk on the beach after supper means that I come home with the headlights on.

This is Stories Beach, just south of the 50th parallel north, four days ago, starting at 5:47 PM. Sunset is at 6:49.

5:47, looking Southeast. The sun is off to my left, 9° above the horizon.

Looking up.

10 minutes later, looking Northeast. The beach and the lower trees are in shadow already.

And today's sunset will be at 6:40, nine minutes earlier. Our day will be just over 11 hours long. It will go down to 8 hours by mid-December, with the sun barely 16 degrees over the horizon. Time to dig out my winter coats!

I've been looking at a site that gives all sorts of data on the sun's position at any given time or place, SunEarthTools; a map, graphs, tables; anything you can think of to ask. One curious number I noticed is that noon today is at 1:08 PM. Words mean different things depending on the context.

A Skywatch post.


  1. What kind of bird is that?

  2. It's a gull. From this angle, it's hard to distinguish the species (and age) markings.

  3. We have to make sure we leave town these days by 6:30 at the latest, or it is dark when we arrive home at the cabin. We don't like traveling on the water after dark with all the wood that floats around, especially with the water level rising after the recent rains. - Margy


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