– Ben Martens

Longer Days

perihelionThe rain in Seattle doesn’t bother me. I find what affects me the most is the lack of sunshine. Woodinville is 6 degrees further north than my hometown in Indiana and that correlates to about 30-40 minutes less sunshine in the winter than I grew up with.

We all know that you get less sunshine in the winter than in the summer and that the farther north you go, the less sunshine you get in the winter, but did you know that there are more minutes in a¬†winter day than in a summer day? A day is defined by the time it takes the same point on earth to directly face the sun again. We aren’t just rotating around the axis of the planet, we are also orbiting the sun and we are not always the same distance from the sun. Right now the solar system is set up so that we are closest to the sun in the winter. That means we move more faster around our orbit than we do when we are farther from the sun. If we’re moving faster, that means that the earth has to rotate a little bit extra to point back at the sun again. Our winter days have 30 “extra” seconds in them!

If you want to see this all explained in a quick video, check out Minute Physics: