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December 22nd, 2005

on Sunrise, Sunset, and the Winter Solstice

In Boston last weekend, I was having breakfast with Barry, Katie, Jess, and Seph, and complaining about the short days and how depressing it is, when Jess mentioned that the bright spot was that the earliest sunset had already happened and that the sun was now setting a little LATER every day, despite the Solstice not yet having happened. We wondered why this is, and being a bunch of geeks, several theories were passed around the table. I remained silent because I didn't buy any of the theories I was hearing, and also because this was something I once knew from taking Astronomy 314, and it bothered me that I couldn't articulate what happens well enough to settle things at breakfast. My astronomy enthusiast friend Warner, however, gave me just enough information for me to remember the whole story, about which I am apparently going to write a short book and share with the curious LJ masses.

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So, that's the story.

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