The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Favorite morning of the year

Since we moved the end of Daylight Saving Time to the first week of November, sunrises at the end of October are later than those in mid-December. Yesterday's sunrise was the latest sunrise in a year, and will be the latest until 2016. (The sunrise on 6 November 2010 was the latest until 2021, so it really could be worse.)

In Chicago this morning, the sun rose at 6:26, the same time it rose on September 12th. It won't rise this early again until March 3rd—but then a week later we shift the clocks again so we get another 6:26 sunrise on April 6th.

National Geographic had not one but two articles on DST this weekend. Any conclusions? Some people don't like it and others do. The only conclusion I draw from reading both is whether DST benefits you depends on a lot of factors, geography preponderating.

I still don't know why we moved the fall switch from end of October to beginning of November in 2007. We want daylight for Hallowe'en? I really, really hate getting up before dawn, which wouldn't happen before Thanksgiving if we still used the pre-1986 (1st Sunday in October) rules; even the 1986-2006 regime (4th Sunday in October) would minimize it. Europe, including the UK, change their clocks the last Sunday in September and the last Sunday in March. That seems to work best for northern, cool climates—like Chicago. Maybe Illinois should go its own way, then?

Dark mornings

The week between when we used to switch back to Standard Time and when we do so now (since 2007) makes me want to stay in bed.

This morning sunrise happened at 7:18 and will slouch out to 7:25 on Saturday morning. It's the latest sunrise we'll have for three years, and it's 45 minutes after I usually get up in the morning.

I know a lot of people prefer more light in the afternoon. I don't care, really. Sunday the sun sets at 16:42; but it rises at 6:26, and gives me another month before the sun rises after 7 again. Then, of course, there's the slog from December 2nd to February 4th...but what can you do?

Just having a moan. You can ignore this post.

Chicago sunrise chart, 2013-2014

Here's the semi-annual Chicago sunrise chart. (You can get one for your own location at http://www.wx-now.com/Sunrise/SunriseChart.aspx.)

Date Significance Sunrise Sunset Daylight
2013
2 Jul 8:30pm sunset 05:20 20:30 15:09
16 Jul 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:24 14:53
9 Aug 8pm sunset 05:53 19:59 14:06
16 Aug 6am sunrise 06:00 19:49 13:49
29 Aug 7:30pm sunset 06:14 19:29 13:15
14 Sep 6:30am sunrise 06:30 19:02 12:31
15 Sep 7pm sunset 06:31 19:00 12:28
22 Sep Equinox, 15:44 CDT 06:39 18:48 12:09
25 Sep 12-hour day 06:42 18:43 12:00
2 Oct 6:30pm sunset 06:50 18:30 11:41
12 Oct 7am sunrise 07:00 18:14 11:13
21 Oct 6pm sunset 07:11 18:00 10:49
2 Nov Latest sunrise until 2 Nov 2016
Latest sunset until Mar 3rd
07:25 17:44 10:18
3 Nov Standard time returns
Earliest sunrise until Mar 1st
06:26 16:42 10:16
6 Nov 6:30 sunrise 06:30 16:39 10:09
15 Nov 4:30pm sunset 06:41 16:30 9:48
2 Dec 7am sunrise 07:00 16:21 9:20
8 Dec Earliest sunset of the year 07:06 16:20 9:13
21 Dec Solstice, 11:11 CST 07:15 16:23 9:07
2014
3 Jan Latest sunrise until Oct 29th 07:19 16:33 9:13
27 Jan 5pm sunset 07:08 17:00 9:51
4 Feb 7am sunrise 07:00 17:10 10:10
20 Feb 5:30pm sunset 06:40 17:30 10:50
27 Feb 6:30am sunrise 06:29 17:39 11:10
8 Mar Earliest sunrise until Apr 13th
Earliest sunset until Oct 29th
06:15 17:50 11:35
9 Mar Daylight savings time begins
Latest sunrise until Oct 24th
Earliest sunset until Sep 21st
07:13 18:51 11:38
17 Mar 7am sunrise, 7pm sunset
12-hour day
06:59 19:00 12:00
20 Mar Equinox 11:57 CDT 06:54 19:03 12:09
3 Apr 6:30am sunrise (again) 06:30 19:19 12:48
13 Apr 7:30pm sunset 06:13 19:30 13:16
22 Apr 6am sunrise 06:00 19:39 13:39
11 May 8pm sunset 05:35 20:00 14:25
16 May 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:06 14:36
14 Jun Earliest sunrise of the year 05:15 20:28 15:12
20 Jun Solstice 18:09 CDT
8:30pm sunset
05:16 20:30 15:14
27 Jun Latest sunset of the year 05:18 20:31 15:12

You can get sunrise information for your location at wx-now.com.

Nerdy but possibly welcome update

Even though we've just gotten our first snowfall, and today has started giving us snow, freezing rain, sleet, and icy roads, there is good news.

January 27th is when things officially start looking brighter in Chicago every year. Tonight, for the first time in almost two months, the sun sets at 5pm. Then things start to become noticeably brighter: a 7am sunrise next Monday, a 5:30pm sunset two weeks after that, then a 6:30am sunrise less than a week later.

Yes, this is dorky, but trust me: you'll notice it now.

Chicago sunrise chart, 2013

Here's the semi-annual Chicago sunrise chart. (You can get one for your own location at http://www.wx-now.com/Sunrise/SunriseChart.aspx.)

Date Significance Sunrise Sunset Daylight
2013
3 Jan Latest sunrise until Oct 28th 07:19 16:33 9:13
27 Jan 5pm sunset 07:08 17:00 9:52
4 Feb 7am sunrise 07:00 17:10 10:10
20 Feb 5:30pm sunset 06:39 17:31 10:52
26 Feb 6:30am sunrise 06:30 17:38 11:08
9 Mar Earliest sunrise until Apr. 14th
Earliest sunset until Oct. 28th
06:12 17:51 11:38
10 Mar Daylight savings time begins
Latest sunrise until Oct. 22nd
Earliest sunset until Sept. 20th
07:11 18:52 11:41
17 Mar 7am sunrise, 7pm sunset
12-hour day
06:59 19:00 12:01
20 Mar Equinox 06:02 CDT 06:54 19:04 12:10
3 Apr 6:30am sunrise (again) 06:30 19:19 12:49
13 Apr 7:30pm sunset 06:13 19:30 13:16
22 Apr 6am sunrise 06:00 19:39 13:39
10 May 8pm sunset 05:36 20:00 14:24
15 May 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:05 14:36
14 Jun Earliest sunrise of the year 05:15 20:28 15:12
21 Jun Solstice 00:04 CDT
8:30pm sunset
05:16 20:30 15:14
26 Jun Latest sunset of the year 05:17 20:31 15:13
2 Jul 8:30pm sunset 05:20 20:30 15:09
16 Jul 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:24 14:53
9 Aug 8pm sunset 05:53 19:59 14:06
16 Aug 6am sunrise 06:00 19:49 13:49
29 Aug 7:30pm sunset 06:14 19:29 13:15
14 Sep 6:30am sunrise 06:30 19:02 12:31
15 Sep 7pm sunset 06:31 19:00 12:28
22 Sep Equinox, 15:44 CDT 06:39 18:48 12:09
25 Sep 12-hour day 06:42 18:43 12:00
2 Oct 6:30pm sunset 06:50 18:30 11:41
12 Oct 7am sunrise 07:00 18:14 11:13
21 Oct 6pm sunset 07:11 18:00 10:49
2 Nov Latest sunrise until 2 Nov 2016
Latest sunset until Mar 3rd
07:25 17:44 10:18
4 Nov Standard time returns
Earliest sunrise until Mar 1st
06:26 16:42 10:16
6 Nov 6:30 sunrise 06:30 16:39 10:09
15 Nov 4:30pm sunset 06:41 16:30 9:48
2 Dec 7am sunrise 07:00 16:21 9:20
8 Dec Earliest sunset of the year 07:06 16:20 9:13
21 Dec Solstice, 11:11 CST 07:15 16:23 9:07

You can get sunrise information for your location at wx-now.com.

Mark your calendars

Late next year, Earth could get the best show from a comet in decades:

By the end of summer [Comet Ison] will become visible in small telescopes and binoculars. By October it will pass close to Mars and things will begin to stir. The surface will shift as the ice responds to the thermal shock, cracks will appear in the crust, tiny puffs of gas will rise from it as it is warmed. The comet's tail is forming.

Slowly at first but with increasing vigour, as it passes the orbit of Earth, the gas and dust geysers will gather force. The space around the comet becomes brilliant as the ice below the surface turns into gas and erupts, reflecting the light of the Sun. Now Ison is surrounded by a cloud of gas called the coma, hundreds of thousands of miles from side to side. The comet's rotation curves these jets into space as they trail into spirals behind it. As they move out the gas trails are stopped and blown backwards by the Solar Wind.

By late November it will be visible to the unaided eye just after dark in the same direction as the setting Sun.

I expect we'll hear more about this as it gets closer.

Chicago sunrise chart, 2012-13

I'm a little late getting the semi-annual Chicago sunrise chart out this summer. Sorry. (You can get one for your own location at http://www.wx-now.com/Sunrise/SunriseChart.aspx.)

Date Significance Sunrise Sunset Daylight
2012
2 Jul 8:30pm sunset 05:20 20:30 15:09
16 Jul 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:24 14:53
8 Aug 8pm sunset 05:53 20:00 14:06
16 Aug 6am sunrise 06:00 19:48 13:48
28 Aug 7:30pm sunset 06:13 19:30 13:16
13 Sep 6:30am sunrise 06:30 19:03 12:33
15 Sep 7pm sunset 06:33 19:00 12:28
22 Sep Equinox, 09:49 CDT 06:39 18:48 12:08
25 Sep 12-hour day 06:42 18:42 12:00
2 Oct 6:30pm sunset 06:50 18:30 11:40
13 Oct 7am sunrise 07:01 18:13 11:10
21 Oct 6pm sunset 07:11 18:00 10:48
3 Nov Latest sunrise until 2 Nov 2013
Latest sunset until Mar 2nd
07:27 17:42 10:15
4 Nov Standard time returns
Earliest sunrise until Feb 28th
06:28 16:41 10:13
6 Nov 6:30 sunrise 06:30 16:39 10:08
15 Nov 4:30pm sunset 06:41 16:30 9:49
1 Dec 7am sunrise 07:00 16:21 9:21
7 Dec Earliest sunset of the year 07:06 16:20 9:14
21 Dec Solstice, 05:12 CST 07:16 16:23 9:07
2013
3 Jan Latest sunrise until Oct 28th 07:19 16:33 9:13
27 Jan 5pm sunset 07:08 17:00 9:52
4 Feb 7am sunrise 07:00 17:10 10:10
20 Feb 5:30pm sunset 06:39 17:31 10:52
26 Feb 6:30am sunrise 06:30 17:38 11:08
9 Mar Earliest sunrise until Apr. 14th
Earliest sunset until Oct. 28th
06:12 17:51 11:38
10 Mar Daylight savings time begins
Latest sunrise until Oct. 22nd
Earliest sunset until Sept. 20th
07:11 18:52 11:41
17 Mar 7am sunrise, 7pm sunset
12-hour day
06:59 19:00 12:01
20 Mar Equinox 06:02 CDT 06:54 19:04 12:10
3 Apr 6:30am sunrise (again) 06:30 19:19 12:49
13 Apr 7:30pm sunset 06:13 19:30 13:16
22 Apr 6am sunrise 06:00 19:39 13:39
10 May 8pm sunset 05:36 20:00 14:24
15 May 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:05 14:36
14 Jun Earliest sunrise of the year 05:15 20:28 15:12
21 Jun Solstice 00:04 CDT
8:30pm sunset
05:16 20:30 15:14
26 Jun Latest sunset of the year 05:17 20:31 15:13

You can get sunrise information for your location at wx-now.com.

Major solar event leads to aurorae tonight

The aurora borealis could be visible as far south as Chicago, Belfast, and Seattle tonight and tomorrow:

A significant event located on the Sun facing Earth took place on July 12. The effects of this event will begin to reach Earth early on the 14th of July GMT.

Observers in North America should watch for aurora on the nights of the 14th and 15th local time. Depending on the configuration of the disturbance, auroras may be visible as far south as the middle tier of states.

Activity may remain high also on the 16th. Auroras should be visible Southern New Zealand, Tasmania, and of course, Antarctica.

I've only seen aurorae from airplanes in flight over the polar regions. Obviously they're invisible from within the city of Chicago, but if I had a boat, tonight would be great for going out on the lake and looking for them.

Behold! For I shall eat the sun!

But only if you're near the Pacific:

The midwest might not have the best view but the annular solar eclipse will at least be partially visible from here. The southwest will have the best vantage point when the sun appears as a "ring of fire" when the moon passes between it and the earth on Sunday. The moon will cover about 95% of the sun's diameter during this event. The eclipse will follow a path 8500 miles long for about 3 and a half hours. The "ring of fire" spectacle will last up to 5 minutes depending on the vantage point. Six national parks in the west, including Redwoods National Park in California and Zion National Park in Utah, are enticing visitors by offering some of the best views since the eclipse track will drift right over the parks.

The eclipse starts in San Francisco at 17:16 PDT, reaches its maximum at 18:33, and ends at 19:40. Here's a map from the University of Manitoba:

Remember, don't look at the eclipse directly. It's an annular eclipse, so it will be dangerously bright if you look straight at it.

Update: NASA has an information page about this event.