The sun continues to rise later each morning

It was a surprise to learn that our days don’t lengthen at both ends on the 20th of December as I’d always been taught. In fact, in our area the sun won’t begin rising earlier until January 7th!

Dawn, forty-five minutes before the sunrise on December 16th.Yes, the earth has begin its slow tilt on its axis back towards the south and the sun actually began moving back one minute on Dec 16th when it set at 4:30 pm, after 11 days of setting at 4:29 pm. (Referring to my zip code area which is close to the 45th parallel in western Oregon.)

Sunrise will continue to linger later and later. New Year’s Day Sunrise is at 7:49, Sunset at 4:39 (16:39), it will continue rising at 7:49am (setting a minute or so later every day or two) until January 7th when it finally rise a minute sooner and begin the countback to incrementally earlier dawns.

Here’s a good website for figuring out what time the sun will rise and set in your zip code area.

What makes it so?  As I understand it there are a couple main factors: the earth is tipped on its axis; the earth journeys in an elliptical pattern, a figure 8, properly known as the analemma around the sun. The path it takes during the yearly orbit brings it closer to the sun in the winter. Here‘s a better explanation for those who are curious.

Another fun fact deduced by astronomer & mathematician Johannes Kepler some 400 years ago is that planets speed up when closer to the sun.  No wonder Christmas always arrives sooner than we can scare believe. Um, not really: the spin-rate of the earth stays basically constant.

Have you left a comment yet? For the drawing? (See previous post: Dec 18th for pictures)

To clear up a bit of confusion
1) Please state in your comment which of the five items you’d like most to win. This way your name will go into the corresponding bowl for the drawing of that specific item.
2) Each comment on subsequent posts will get your name added again. If you comment on 3 different Fiberjoy blog posts from 18th through Dec 25th you will have your name put on 3 slips of paper.  If you comment 10 times on one post you’ll still only get one slip of paper with your name on it for that post.

Yes, I have been knitting a Christmas gift. It should have, would have been finished by now but I keep getting off on lace row counts necessitating ripping back 2 rows. Handspun yarn from Picperfic Roving “Twinkle” spun in June ’11.

Time for a cup of tea and knitting whilst listening to Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey at Librivox.


Author: Wanda J

I never dreamed my life would be entangled with fiber and the tools used to produce fibery items. When I bought a boat shuttle used in weaving Ed looked at it, decided to make a better one and the rest is history. For a decade he made shuttles, crochet hooks, knitting needles, until his spindles became so popular that he had to devote his time to making them, as well as Walking Wheels. Free time is spent reading, trying to coax food from the ground, and playing in the creek near our place. I love long walks and camping far from crowds. Playing a fiddle beside a stream or with good friends brings sweetness to my soul. Sundays are set aside for worshiping God with our small Quaker meeting.

22 thoughts on “The sun continues to rise later each morning”

  1. Ah, science nerdiness, I love it! I didn’t know that the days keep starting later, still…

    Still looking at that lovely Aegean spindle! I love the carving on it.

    Almost done with my one Christmas knitting project! But first I have to design my new year’s cards…

  2. Wanda, thanks fpr clearing up my confusion with your e-mail. I have my fingers crossed!!! (I never win anything.)

  3. Goodness me, I didn’t realise how it all happened…now I know…erm…well sort of!

    I love how the yarn you created from my roving is knitting up…very pretty


  4. Our solstice days have been very dark and overcast. I was struck how the sunrise photo echoed the yarn in your header. Love that glow.
    Perfect for this contemplative time…

  5. Oops – commented on the wrong post – should have gone here:
    Looks like you’ve gotten a little break in the clouds – I think it has been socked in with unrelenting overcast here in town. The fog today is sort of calm and peaceful though, like a cup of tea!

  6. That’s interesting! If the days have to get longer at only one end, I’m glad it happens at the end of the day (can you tell I’m not a morning person?) 🙂

    Your yarn is so pretty, and it’s knitting up nicely!

  7. Reading your explaination gave me a true sense of wonder. Being in the southern hemisphere we ate beginning our journey towards winter. It always seems odd because typically our hottest weather is ahead of us still. Thanks.

  8. That is…… depressing! =) I don’t mind so much coming home from work in the dark (particularly when the neighborhood is twinkling with Christmas lights), but I so very much dislike getting up in the dark. (Oh yes – still loving that turkish Delight!)

  9. Last night, we released wish lanterns and all made a wish! It was a semi-clear night and we could see lots of stars peaking around the clouds! The lanterns flew until they were out of sight!

    So I suppose I was thankful that it was dark sooner so that we could send our wishes out into the world!

  10. Well, that was very informative. I always look forward to the solstace because I can just see spring coming in the far off distance.
    Is it still in the teens here every morning? Yes, but somehow the days
    don’t feel as cold as they do before the official start of winter.
    (Hey, it’s a dry cold……).
    Love the project you’re working on! Beautiful!
    I am zipping along on January birthday gifts. So many that month.
    I hope you have a great birthday, and thanks for the opportunity
    to put my name in the crochet hook bowl again!
    Woo hoo!

  11. Inever knew that, I also thought it lengthened both ways. Son’t need a website to tell me when sunrise is I have a built in one, little and cute and oh so soft. My cat Valentine hops up on the bed each morning just as dawn comes around and butts me in the head so I’ll get up and feed her. Cats and kids they both make me happy.

    Christmas knittin almost done 2 more thumbs to finish in the Great-grandsons mittens and 1 Cheesecake to whip up and I’m done. Yeaaaaaaa.

    Enjoy your sun rises even if they are early.

  12. I’m so glad to be on the swing back to longer days…

    (and I’m still loving that Aegean, so you can put me in that bowl again!)

  13. Oh, that’s interesting!
    I wonder if this is the same here in Germany… in fact it cheered me up a little to know that the days would get longer again since yesterday. So perhaps I should not really want to know if this is really true 😉

  14. “a figure 8, properly known as the analemma around the sun”

    ….wow.,,!.analemma…that sounds like a great name for a mobius cowl pattern!

    Always learning something from you, Wanda! Thanks for all the posts!

  15. What a beautiful photo and beautifully worded explanation — kind of dreamy-sounding.

    I’m going to check that website on sunrise/sunset by zip code. I would like to know that stuff.

  16. I thought the days got longer at beginning and end too. Learn something new every day!

    Still liking the Aegean Spindle

  17. That’s really interesting – I never thought much about how the daylight change happened! Count me in for the Turkish!

  18. At the 35th parallel where I live, I don’t notice the changes as much as I did when I lived at the 45th. I will need to read this post a half dozen times to truly understand it 🙂

    I love the knitting needles.

  19. The microclimate changes of the greater Willamette Valley are a constant source of joy, amazement, ans amusement for me. Kind of like the differences between different spindles. Turkish or older Aegean. hmmm. Today I am drawn to the Turkish.

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