How did I observe life differently in 2013?

Sunrise...Everyone marks time differently regardless of the calendar we follow. Some of us count the weeks of vacation we’ll get, others watch their babies grow from one stage to the next. Still others observe their garden and wonder how it will grow in the coming season.

Last year my goal was to observe the times of sunrise and sunset in one particular location. I chose the closest weather station to me recorded at Environment Canada: Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Every morning, shortly after rising, I went to the website, chose Halifax (not Halifax Shearwater; that’s my old stomping grounds near Cole Harbour) and recorded the temperature, the sunrise and sunset times of the day.

I looked out the window to see if it was raining, cloudy, clear, foggy or snowing and recorded that too to get a better picture of the weather on that day.

Why did I choose sunrise and sunset times? I’ve always been fascinated with the amount of daylight hours vs nightdark hours. I wanted to see if sunrise times increased consistently as the days got longer. Did we get one more minute of daylight per day or two or three? And after summer solstice, did the days shorten by more than one minute and did they do it consistently?

How did the mechanics of the universe approach summer and winter solstices? Did they stop on a dime, or did they come to a slow pause? Did the days actually start getting shorter on June 21st? Did they begin to length on December 21st?

Here are the answer for 2013:

Did the sun rise consistently as the days started to get longer at Winter Solstice? No, the sun did not rise consistently after Winter Solstice. So far we’ve gained one minute every two to four days.

Dec 21/13: Sunrise: 7:50; Sunset: 16:37  WINTER SOLSTICE

Day 1: 0 minutes: Dec 22/13: Sunrise: 7:50

Day 2: 1 minute: Dec 23/13: Sunrise: 7:51

Day 3: 0 minute: Dec 24/13: Sunrise: 7:51

Day 4: 0 minutes: Dec 25/13: Sunrise: 7:51

Day 5: 1 minute: Dec 26/13: Sunrise: 7:52

Day 6: 0 minutes: Dec 27/13: Sunrise: 7:52

Day 7: 0 minutes: Dec 28/13: Sunrise: 7:52

Day 8: 0 minutes: Dec 29/13: Sunrise: 7:52

Day 9: 1 minute: Dec 30/13: Sunrise: 7:53

Day 10: 0 minutes: Jan 1/14: Sunrise: 7:53

Day 11: 0 minutes: Jan 2/14: Sunrise: 7:53

Day 12: 0 minutes: Jan 3/14: Sunrise: 7:53

This fact that it took twelve days to gain only three more minutes of light in the morning was depressing. Obviously if we weren’t getting it in the morning, were we getting it in the afternoon?

Dec 21/13: Sunrise: 7:50; Sunset: 16:37  WINTER SOLSTICE

Day 1: 0 minutes: Dec 22/13: Sunset: 16:37Sun shine

Day 2: 1 minute: Dec 23/13: Sunset: 16:38

Day 3: 0 minute: Dec 24/13: Sunset: 16:38

Day 4: 1 minutes: Dec 25/13: Sunset: 16:39

Day 5: 1 minute: Dec 26/13: Sunset: 16:40

Day 6: 0 minutes: Dec 27/13: Sunset: 16:40

Day 7: 1 minutes: Dec 28/13: Sunset: 16:41

Day 8: 1 minutes: Dec 29/13: Sunset: 16:42

Day 9: 1 minute: Dec 30/13: Sunset: 16:43

Day 10: 1 minutes: Jan 1/14: Sunset: 16:44

Day 11: 1 minutes: Jan 2/14: Sunset: 16:45

Day 12: 1 minutes: Jan 3/14: Sunset: 16:46

Yes, we were getting extra minutes added on at the end of the day on most days, but not every one.

Did we get one more minute of daylight per day or two or three?

According to the data above, we got 0, 2, 0, 1, 2, 0, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1 and 1 minutes extra on days between December 22 and January 3rd, indicating we got 0 to 2 minutes of extra day light a day. But this isn’t the whole story about how daylight increased throughout the year.

At other times of the year, the amount of daylight hours increased much quicker. According to the data below, the number of minutes increased during this time period were: 3, 4, 3, 3, 4, 3 and 3 minutes. That’s a much better increase of daylight hours than that just after Winter Solstice.

Sat Mar 16/13: Sunrise: 6:26; Sunset: 18:21

Sun Mar 17/13: Sunrise: 6:24; Sunset: 18:22

Mon Mar 18/13: Sunrise: 6:22; Sunset: 18:24

Tue Mar 19/13: Sunrise: 6:20; Sunset: 18:25

Wed Mar 20/13: Sunrise: 6:18; Sunset: 18:26 (FIRST DAY OF SPRING)

Thu Mar 21/13: Sunrise: 6:16; Sunset: 18:28

Fri Mar 22/13: Sunrise: 6:14; Sunset: 18:29

Sat Mar 23/13: Sunrise: 6:12; Sunset: 18:30

After summer solstice (June 21st), do the days shorten by more than one minute and do they do it consistently?

No, we don’t lose one minute and daylight doesn’t decrease consistently. The decreased minutes of daylight were: 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1 and 0.

Jun 21/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 20:05 FIRST DAY OF SUMMER

Jun 22/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 20:05Moon

Jun 23/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 20:05

Jun 24/13: Sunrise: 4:30; Sunset: 20:05

Jun 25/13: Sunrise: 4:30; Sunset: 20:05

Jun 26/13: Sunrise: 4:30; Sunset: 20:05

Jun 27/13: Sunrise: 4:31; Sunset: 20:05

Jun 28/13: Sunrise: 4:31; Sunset: 20:05

Jun 29/13: Sunrise: 4:32; Sunset: 20:05

Jun 30/13: Sunrise: 4:32; Sunset: 20:05

Jul 1/13: Sunrise: 4:33; Sunset: 20:05

Jul 2/13: Sunrise: 4:33; Sunset: 20:05

How did the mechanics of the universe approach summer and winter solstices? Did they speed forward then stop on a dime, or did they slowly come to a pause?

SUMMER SOLSTICE: June 21st

During the approach to Summer Solstice, things slowed way down and picked up just as slowly on the other end. On June 6th, the sun rose at 4:30 am. It eventually rose as early as 4:28 before it froze on that time for nine days, then on June 20th it rose at 4:29 am, and continued to do so for three more days before it once again rose at 4:30 am on June 24th.

Sunset was more flexible, having seven minutes difference during the same time period. In fact, the evening daylight hours didn’t even begin to shorten, only lengthen even after Summer Solstice. The sun continued to set at 20:05 until July 4th, when it set at 20:04 and begins to draw in the daylight hours.

Jun 6/13: Sunrise: 4:30; Sunset: 19:58Sunrise5x5

Jun 7/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 19:58

Jun 8/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 19:59

Jun 9/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 20:00

Jun 10/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 20:00

Jun 11/13: Sunrise: 4:28; Sunset: 20:01

Jun 12/13: Sunrise: 4:28; Sunset: 20:01

Jun 13/13: Sunrise: 4:28; Sunset: 20:02

Jun 14/13: Sunrise: 4:28; Sunset: 20:02

Jun 15/13: Sunrise: 4:28; Sunset: 20:03

Jun 16/13: Sunrise: 4:28; Sunset: 20:03

Jun 17/13: Sunrise: 4:28; Sunset: 20:04

Jun 18/13: Sunrise: 4:28; Sunset: 20:04

Jun 19/13: Sunrise: 4:28; Sunset: 20:04

Jun 20/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 20:05

Jun 21/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 20:05 SUMMER SOLSTICE

Jun 22/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 20:05

Jun 23/13: Sunrise: 4:29; Sunset: 20:05

Jun 24/13: Sunrise: 4:30; Sunset: 20:05

WINTER SOLSCTICE: December 21st

Just like the sunset times for Summer Solstice, the sunrise times of Winter Solstice do not increase after the solstice. The sun actually starts to set later on December 15th, giving us more daylight in the afternoon. On December 6th, the sunset time froze at 16:34 and stayed there until December 14th.

Dec 14/13: Sunrise: 7:45; Sunset: 16:34

Dec 15/13: Sunrise: 7:46; Sunset: 16:35

Dec 16/13: Sunrise: 7:47; Sunset: 16:35

Dec 17/13: Sunrise: 7:47; Sunset: 16:35

Dec 18/13: Sunrise: 7:48; Sunset: 16:35

Dec 19/13: Sunrise: 7:49; Sunset: 16:36

Dec 20/13: Sunrise: 7:49; Sunset: 16:36

Dec 21/13: Sunrise: 7:50; Sunset: 16:37 WINTER SOLSTICE

Dec 22/13: Sunrise: 7:50; Sunset: 16:37

Dec 23/13: Sunrise: 7:51; Sunset: 16:38

Dec 24/13: Sunrise: 7:51; Sunset: 16:38

Dec 25/13: Sunrise: 7:51; Sunset: 16:39

Dec 26/13: Sunrise: 7:52; Sunset: 16:40

Dec 27/13: Sunrise: 7:52; Sunset: 16:40

Dec 28/13: Sunrise: 7:52; Sunset: 16:41

Dec 29/13: Sunrise: 7:52; Sunset: 16:42

Dec 30/13: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:43

Dec 31/13: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:43

Did the days actually start getting shorter on summer solstice?

No. The amount of daylight didn’t start to decrease until June 24th.

Did they begin to lengthen on Winter Solstice?

No. The amount of daylight didn’t start to increase until December 25th.

Now the big question: Are sunrise and sunset times the same every year? In other words, did the sun rise every January 1st at 7:53?

So far, the data I have suggests that sunrise times and sunset times are a match. However I do have one inconsistency in the data: December 31st. I could have recorded the sunset for 2013 or 2014 incorrectly, but I can’t find a way to see these values on Environment Canada to see if I did. As far as I can see, you can read sunrise and sunset times only on that particular day. I’ll know more in a few weeks when I have more data to compare.

Dec 30/12: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:43

Dec 30/13: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:43

 

Dec 31/12: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:44

Dec 31/13: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:43

 

Jan 1/13: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:44

Jan 1/14: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:44

 

Jan 2/13: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:45

Jan 2/14: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:45

 

Jan 3/13: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:46

Jan 3/14: Sunrise: 7:53; Sunset: 16:46

You might ask: What does this have to do with writing, and what can it be used for? Well, we’ve already used it once, checking to see if it will be daylight in the spring when a specific event is to occur.

The data can also be used to determine if it is dark or light at any given time of the day during the year…in Nova Scotia. For example, if my character witnessed a murder at 6:00 am on February 4th, would he be able to see with certainty without some sort of light? Nope, the sun doesn’t rise until 7:31 am, so it would be completely dark unless there was some sort of moon, and it wasn’t cloudy.

He would be able to see though near the end of March when the sun rises at 6:14 on March 22nd. As we know, there is light several minutes before the sun actually rises over the horizon.

Will I continue recording sunrise and sunset times in 2014? No. But I will record for the month of January to see if my hypothesis is correct: that the sun rise and sun set of any given day during the year is the same.

In what way will I observe 2014 differently? That’s a topic for another blog.

tibert Sunrise

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2 thoughts on “How did I observe life differently in 2013?

    • Hello, Nikkie, and welcome to my blog. Thank you for commenting. I’m an early bird, but I prefer to wake when it’s light outside. From my data, I see I won’t get to do that until the first week in April. Reality can be hard to swallow sometimes. Thanks for visiting.

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