Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Happy Analemma Day

 

It’s that time of year. Feeling gloomy? Perhaps it’s the shorter days of the season. Indeed, there’s a lot less sunlight. The afternoons seem to be particularly short.

Well, I have good news; this is Analemma Day. This is the day of the earliest sunset in most of the northern hemisphere. After today, we’re over the hump, and the afternoons get progressively longer.

“What? I thought the shortest day of the year was the winter solstice, December 21.”

Indeed it is. But the earth’s orbit is elliptical, and “local noon” moves back and forth a bit.

If you set up a camera outside, with a timer set to pop off a shot at noon each day, of course you’d see the sun higher in the summer and lower in the winter. But you’d also see the sun moving back and forth, and overall make the shape of a figure eight of sorts. This is the analemma.

So while the shortest day is December 21, today is the day of the earliest sunset.

The Analemma Wikipedia Page is pretty good.

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There are 22 comments.

  1. Arahant Member

    namlliT noD: Well, I have good news; this is Analemma Day.

    Does that have something to do with a proctologist?

    • #1
    • December 6, 2019, at 12:56 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. The Reticulator Member

    namlliT noD: This is the day of the earliest sunset in most of the northern hemisphere.

    Most? You mean in Kearney, Nebraska it’s different than in Berat, Albania?

    • #2
    • December 6, 2019, at 4:32 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. Vectorman Thatcher

    When I moved to Indiana 25 years ago, it was on Eastern Standard Time year around. On a call in talk show, I tried to explain that Indiana should be on Central Time, as we are closer to the center of that time zone. When I tried to explain why the Analemma helped alleviate his concerns, he went back to insisting on being on Eastern Time.

    • #3
    • December 6, 2019, at 5:05 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    When I moved to Indiana 25 years ago, it was on Eastern Standard Time year around. On a call in talk show, I tried to explain that Indiana should be on Central Time, as we are closer to the center of that time zone. When I tried to explain why the Analemma helped alleviate his concerns, he went back to insisting on being on Eastern Time.

    The southern part of the Central Time Zone is absurdly wide — you can drive from 50 miles west of Knoxville, Tenn., to 100 miles east of El Paso and not change time zones, where even on a day like today, there’s still sunlight after 6 p.m. in the latter area.

    • #4
    • December 6, 2019, at 5:51 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    namlliT noD: This is the day of the earliest sunset in most of the northern hemisphere.

    I did a little digging and the day varies from place to place, usually by one or two days. I am always fascinated by places like Barrow, AK, where the sun set on November 18 and won’t rise again until January 22. My favorite days of winter are late December and early January, where the sun both rises and sets later: longer quiet sleep time and longer afternoons.

    • #5
    • December 6, 2019, at 6:20 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  6. Vectorman Thatcher

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    When I moved to Indiana 25 years ago, it was on Eastern Standard Time year around. On a call in talk show, I tried to explain that Indiana should be on Central Time, as we are closer to the center of that time zone. When I tried to explain why the Analemma helped alleviate his concerns, he went back to insisting on being on Eastern Time.

    The southern part of the Central Time Zone is absurdly wide — you can drive from 50 miles west of Knoxville, Tenn., to 100 miles east of El Paso and not change time zones, where even on a day like today, there’s still sunlight after 6 p.m. in the latter area.

    I used this idea as part of my argument, but it doesn’t change “tradition.” For some reason, I think Indiana hates Chicago. Can’t really blame them!

    It’s interesting that as you go north, the end of the timezone shifts west. For example, Thunder Bay Ontario (89.2 West) is on Eastern Time. The center of Central Time is 90 degrees West!

    • #6
    • December 6, 2019, at 6:22 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Pony Convertible Member

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    When I moved to Indiana 25 years ago, it was on Eastern Standard Time year around. On a call in talk show, I tried to explain that Indiana should be on Central Time, as we are closer to the center of that time zone. When I tried to explain why the Analemma helped alleviate his concerns, he went back to insisting on being on Eastern Time.

    I live in Indiana, and you are correct, we should be on Central Time. Our solar noon is much closer to 1:00 than noon when we are on standard time, but worse our solar noon is well after 2:00 in the summer on DST (I hate DST. Like it much better when we didn’t change our clocks).

    • #7
    • December 6, 2019, at 6:25 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Vectorman (View Comment):

    When I moved to Indiana 25 years ago, it was on Eastern Standard Time year around. On a call in talk show, I tried to explain that Indiana should be on Central Time, as we are closer to the center of that time zone. When I tried to explain why the Analemma helped alleviate his concerns, he went back to insisting on being on Eastern Time.

    The southern part of the Central Time Zone is absurdly wide — you can drive from 50 miles west of Knoxville, Tenn., to 100 miles east of El Paso and not change time zones, where even on a day like today, there’s still sunlight after 6 p.m. in the latter area.

    I used this idea as part of my argument, but it doesn’t change “tradition.” For some reason, I think Indiana hates Chicago. Can’t really blame them!

    It’s interesting that as you go north, the end of the timezone shifts west. For example, Thunder Bay Ontario (89.2 West) is on Eastern Time. The center of Central Time is 90 degrees West!

    Where I am in Texas, you can drive east from the Big Bend area near Presidio to the Highway 18 oilfield corridor near Hobbs, N.M. and gain an hour, because the area to the east is on Mountain Time. Logically, Mountain Time would begin around the eastern edge of the Texas Panhandle, but there is something to having virtually all the state within one time zone — El Paso being an hour behind the rest of the state gives it a certain sense of ‘otherness’, since 252 of the state’s 254 counties are on Central Time (and things really get weird in the March-through-October period, because Arizona doesn’t have Daylight Saving Time. Then you can drive 1,400 miles and stay in the Central Time Zone, but it only takes a 400-mile drive west of there along Interstate 10 to experience a two-hour difference in time).

    • #8
    • December 6, 2019, at 6:40 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    So, what you’re saying is between now and December 21st, sunset will be later, but so will sunrise???! I hate to be a downer, but OMG, the puppy’s been waking me up at 5am for weeks now and I “get to” watch the sunrise every blinkin’ morning! This is definitely a glass half empty for me.

    • #9
    • December 6, 2019, at 7:11 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Bishop Wash, Blk X-man/Wh pilot Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    (and things really get weird in the March-through-October period, because Arizona doesn’t have Daylight Saving Time. Then you can drive 1,400 miles and stay in the Central Time Zone, but it only takes a 400-mile drive west of there along Interstate 10 to experience a two-hour difference in time).

    I saw a video on YouTube a couple years ago showing a weird route through Arizona where you can change your clock eleven (I think it was) times. Because the Navajo Nation spans four states, they decided to follow Daylight Saving Time. The Hopi Nation goes with Arizona and stays on standard time. There are Hopi enclaves in Navajo land and Navajo enclaves in Hopi land, so one can go from Arizona to Navajo to Hopi to Navajo, etc.

    • #10
    • December 6, 2019, at 7:37 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  11. Vectorman Thatcher

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    So, what you’re saying is between now and December 21st, sunset will be later, but so will sunrise???! I hate to be a downer, but OMG, the puppy’s been waking me up at 5am for weeks now and I “get to” watch the sunrise every blinkin’ morning! This is definitely a glass half empty for me.

    The sunrise will be later also, FWIW. But the days keep getting shorter until December 21.

    You can see this in Analemma picture above. Summer Solstice in June is at the very top. On the lower left the curve keeps going to the east (the two dots next to the chimney) and then goes west until it reaches the bottom on Dec 21.

    • #11
    • December 6, 2019, at 7:44 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    namlliT noD: This is the day of the earliest sunset in most of the northern hemisphere.

    Most? You mean in Kearney, Nebraska it’s different than in Berat, Albania?

    [checking…] I think it’s on the 9th there.

    http://sunrisesunset.com/

    • #12
    • December 6, 2019, at 8:39 AM PST
    • 1 like
  13. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    So, what you’re saying is between now and December 21st, sunset will be later, but so will sunrise???! I hate to be a downer, but OMG, the puppy’s been waking me up at 5am for weeks now and I “get to” watch the sunrise every blinkin’ morning! This is definitely a glass half empty for me.

    Um, yes. The latest Sunrise is on January 6th.

    But… you’ve got a puppy!

    • #13
    • December 6, 2019, at 8:45 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    So, what you’re saying is between now and December 21st, sunset will be later, but so will sunrise???! I hate to be a downer, but OMG, the puppy’s been waking me up at 5am for weeks now and I “get to” watch the sunrise every blinkin’ morning! This is definitely a glass half empty for me.

    Um, yes. The latest Sunrise is on January 6th.

    But… you’ve got a puppy!

    • #14
    • December 6, 2019, at 9:37 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Right Wing Teamster Lawyer Thatcher

    Thank you I need some good news right about now.

    • #15
    • December 6, 2019, at 10:49 AM PST
    • 1 like
  16. The Reticulator Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    So, what you’re saying is between now and December 21st, sunset will be later, but so will sunrise???! I hate to be a downer, but OMG, the puppy’s been waking me up at 5am for weeks now and I “get to” watch the sunrise every blinkin’ morning! This is definitely a glass half empty for me.

    Um, yes. The latest Sunrise is on January 6th.

    But… you’ve got a puppy!

    That’s such a cute photo that I couldn’t help but look at the full-sized version

    • #16
    • December 6, 2019, at 10:52 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. The Reticulator Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    That’s such a cute photo that I couldn’t help but look at the full-sized version

    It also looks like the animal in front of the puppy is about to die.

    • #17
    • December 6, 2019, at 10:54 AM PST
    • Like
  18. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Being at the far west of the Eastern Time Zone rocks. It is still daylight this time of year at 6pm. 

    • #18
    • December 6, 2019, at 11:35 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    So, what you’re saying is between now and December 21st, sunset will be later, but so will sunrise???! I hate to be a downer, but OMG, the puppy’s been waking me up at 5am for weeks now and I “get to” watch the sunrise every blinkin’ morning! This is definitely a glass half empty for me.

    Put your location into this sunrise-sunset website, scroll down and you can see a chart with the entire month you choose.

    • #19
    • December 6, 2019, at 1:24 PM PST
    • 1 like
  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    That’s such a cute photo that I couldn’t help but look at the full-sized version.

    It also looks like the animal in front of the puppy is about to die.

    Oh, that llama is toast! Hasn’t had any stuffing for about two weeks!

    • #20
    • December 6, 2019, at 4:45 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You may want to get into the Analemma Photography business. There aren’t very many photographs of analemma available, and with a good one you could become internet famous. All you need is a camera, a timer, a solid mounting arrangement, and a year.

    Here’s one in Italy:

    And Athens:

    Scotland:

     

    • #21
    • December 6, 2019, at 6:42 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This guy put together a total do-it-yourself sub-analog technology pinhole camera with awesome results:

    Instructables: Capturing the Solar Analemma With Pinhole Photography

    • #22
    • December 6, 2019, at 6:47 PM PST
    • 3 likes