Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 21, 2013: Happy Winter Solstice!

You can either think of the Winter Solstice as the shortest day of the year (9 hours 21 minutes of sunlight from my latitude), or the day when the sun stops getting lower in the sky and starts it's climb toward midsummer (June 21, 2014). From my latitude, the sun will be up for 15 straight hours during the Summer Solstice!

sunrise december 11 2013
Sunrise has shifted to the SE, photo from December 11, 2013 taken on iPhone

Today, the sun will rise at 120.4º and set at 239.6º, looking at a compass face, it's easy to see that the sun will not "rise in the East and set in the West" like it's supposed to. Rather, it will peek its head over the horizon in the SE to SW sky.

winter solstice daylight
Compass face showing the position of sunrise and sunset on the Winter Solstice from my latitude

photopills screenshot
Augmented reality view through the app PhotoPills showing the path of the sun today on the Winter Solstice

Since we have had rainy overcast skies for 90% of the month, it's no surprise that we have showers today on the Solstice. Using the app PhotoPills , with augmented reality views of the sun's path and some seriously amazing daylight planning charts (below), I suppose I can enjoy the Solstice through the eyes of an app.

photopills screenshotphotopills screenshot

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