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Today’s sunset is the earliest of the year, but why not on the winter solstice?

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight, but contrary to popular belief, it does not have the latest sunrise or the earliest sunset of the year.

Timeanddate.com breaks the confusion, which explains the difference between our modern methods of timekeeping and the way time is measured using the sun. This is called the equation of time.

The earliest sunset actually occurs a few days before the summer solstice, and the latest sunrise occurs a few days later.

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For New York City, the winter solstice for 2020 arrives on December 21 at 5:02 a.m

However, the earliest sunset date occurs on December 7 at 4:28 p.m., while the latest sunrise comes on January 3 and 4, 2021 at 7:20 a.m.

The equation of time is calculated as ‘apparent solar time – mean solar time.’

It is the difference between the time measured by a sundial and the time measured by a watch.

Most clocks run on the idea that a day is exactly 24 hours. Technically, however, a day is the period between a solar noon, the time of day when the sun is the highest point in the sky, and the next day.

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The length of a not-so-long solar day is exactly 24 hours. It changes year-round due to the elliptical shape of Earth’s orbit and the tilt on its axis.

It is 24 hours longer around the summer and winter solstices and 24 hours shorter around the spring and autumn equinoxes.

However, the date for the earliest sunset and the latest sunrise also depends on the latitude of the location.

Locations near the equator have the earliest sunsets around November.

Locations at higher latitudes have earliest sunsets later, closer to the actual date of the winter solstice.

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https://abc7ny.com/winter-solstice-latest-sunrise-earliest-sunset-solar-time/8593291/ Today’s sunset is the earliest of the year, but why not on the winter solstice?

Huynh Nguyen

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