Tag Archives: sunrise and sunset science

EQUINOX+1: later Sunrise travels south for one week more…

The sun is rising over Leeds again (how it looks to us, although really it’s the way our planet orbits the sun), like it was in the early March photos; making the return journey!

From our viewpoint the sunrise is now heading back southwards on the horizon, reaching its most southerly point around midwinter (around December 21st). While that is the positive that inspired the mistYmuse (Most Ideal Sunrise Time – Midwinter Until Spring Equinox), really it’s our planet’s tilt pointing the north away from the sun, so we have less sun time: seeing it later and for less time on our planet’s spin, creating short days and long nights.

Our planet’s axis doesn’t change it’s position; doesn’t bank around corners like a bike: it is more like an inflexible rigid stick flying around a circle; so half the year south is faced more towards the sun, and the other half it is the north, changing at the equinoxes, giving each half a summer and winter.

The Earth at northern hemisphere Midsummer about four months ago:

You can see where it is now at The Planets Today. Seeing today’s image reminded me there was also a beautiful slither of moon visible, with Venus above it dazzling in the sky blue.

At the height of summer (around June 21st), the sun on my horizon was out of sight to the north, and very early in the morning. While that seems negative, in fact it’s just that our planet’s tilt is tipped in the sun’s direction, meaning we see it earlier on our horizon (our planet spinning around): like looking around a corner before reaching it.

So there are pros and cons, positives and negatives, and that’s why I created the mistYmuse: to celebrate the positives at a time of year that is considered the most difficult in the north; especially in the UK, where we don’t have Thanksgiving to celebrate at the end of November like in the USA, filling the gap after Halloween/Bonfire Night.

Next week it is False Dawn Week, when sunrise times are at their latest before the clocks go back in the UK.