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.