The Dark Days of December

At latitude 40 degrees north, earliest sunset occurs on about December 8 and latest sunrise on about January 5. The shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, is December 21 or 22. Why are all these dates not the same?

Pete

You want a philosofical answer to that, from a physics point of view or just a complete and utter nonsense? :wink:

Both would be great

An economic answer: it’s always dark here because I don’t turn on lighting to save energy (or not to overuse it.)

I think it has something to do with the sun…

Easy, the Earth’s orbit around the sun is elliptical, not circular, thus the Earth isn’t always the same differance from the Sun. Also, the Earth rotates on an skewed axis, so couple this with the constantly changing radius and you have longer and shorter hours in which the Sun is “up” and in which the sun is “down”

Yo-

'Cause S_S turned off the lights-eh!