The Long Sunset


This morning the sun came up at 9am.  9:08 to be exact.  Take a look outside at your place at 9am and see if the sun is in the sky at your place.  Know that at 9am here, its still going to be a couple minutes before it peeks its head over the Chugachs here.  Here’s a point of reference, Sunday was the first time I watched a Green Bay Packer game (in the US at least) when the sun hadn’t even come up yet.

Tomorrow, we will get 9 hours 17 minutes of daylight.  Truth is, it’s only an hour and a half less sunlight that is in Kansas tomorrow, but its still quite quite …. quite noticeable.  Since the day I moved here, we have lost 7 hours 40 minutes of sunlight.  Before the winter solstice, we still have another 3 hours 49 minutes of daylight to lose.  On December 22nd, the sun will come up at 10:15, and go down at 3:43.  Take a look outside tomorrow at those times to see where the sun is, and know that in December, the sun would not be up.

What’s already starting here, though, is the stranger way the sun is here.  I remember it when I was here in November last year, but seems already starting in October.

Science moment, the sun doesn’t come up and down at faster or slower rates, it just is further north or further south.  The angles change, not the speed.  But when the angle is what it is, then the sun stays just above or below the horizon for long periods of time.  For instance, it seemed like the sun started to set around 4:30p today, even though it went down two hours later.  Then it stayed light for another hour after.  Add that to the morning where it seemed to be sunrise for just as long, it was the “magic hour” of golden sunlight for five hours today.

The orange of the sky makes the snow white of the mountains gleam brightly.  On the clear days when Denali can be seen from the office, it shows pink.  The Chugachs show orange on grey.   The colors stand out like any good sunrise or sunset on any day, they just go on for hours.

With hope, I can appreciate it as the days become shorter, but we will see.




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