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Springing ahead

March 22, 2011
By Aileen O’Donoghue, aodonoghue@stlawu.edu

After "springing ahead" into Daylight Saving Time, evening darkness comes much later in the Adirondacks. The increase in the hours of daylight is imperceptibly slow near the Winter Solstice, with the days lengthening by only a few seconds. But the rate of change has increased to its maximum at the Vernal Equinox. For more than a month centered on the Equinox, we gain three minutes or more of sunlight each day. Also, if you watch the sun rise or set, the position where it crosses the horizon is about half a degree (equal to its diameter) farther north each day. However much we may enjoy winter and the night sky, we all rejoice in the return of the light!

 
 
 

 

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