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Long nights make for good star gazing

December 28, 2010
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Daylight dwindles to a few wan hours during December in the Adirondacks. For astronomers, it's an exciting time of long nights, but most people look forward to the return of the light. Solstice means "Sun pause" and indicates the day when the sun stops its southward motion and begins moving north to bring us mud season and summer. If you watch the sun rise or set on this day at the latitude of Tupper Lake, it will cross the (theoretical flat) horizon 34 degrees south of due east or west. Though the position of sunrise and sunset will start moving north after that, it moves so slowly that the sun seems to pause at this endpoint and the northern one in June.



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