Winter solstice marks Palo Alto's shortest day

Longer days, more sun, on the way

Topping off at nine hours and just under 35 minutes, today is the shortest day of the year in Palo Alto, the winter solstice.

Once associated with festivals and ceremonies, the day passes largely uncelebrated in Palo Alto, where relatively warm winters, ample sunlight and plenty of electricity lessens the season's toll.

The solstice marks the day the Northern hemisphere is tilted the farthest away from the sun, although ironically, the Earth is closer to the sun than in July. The North Pole plunges into darkness, while the South Pole is illuminated in constant sunshine.

The sun sets Friday at 4:54 p.m.; Saturday's sunset is at 4:55 p.m. with a sunrise at 7:20 a.m.

In June, Palo Alto's days extend 14 hours and 44 minutes.

By Dec. 31, Palo Altans will see a whopping nine hours and nearly 38 minutes of sun, unless, of course, it rains.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2007 at 7:46 pm

It is interesting to note that although many call this the first day of winter, many call it Midwinters Day (or Night). After today the days start lengthening, which means that it must be the middle of something.

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Posted by Oscar
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 22, 2007 at 9:33 am

This is absolutely ridiculous. I think the Palo Alto City Council should convene a special meeting to make sure that these short days never happen again.

I'm a taxpaying citizen and I've had it with short days. With the short days, I find it hard to see the traffic on El Camino, Alma, or Middlefield. My kids have to go to school when it's barely light outside, and at night when they're doing homework it's difficult to concentrate because it's so dark outside. Finally, it's harder to avoid the homeless people on University when it's so dark.

I hope the city council gets on this matter quickly. Until then, I'll just take my tax dollars to Menlo Park or Mountain View.

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Posted by Citizen
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 22, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Its time for a city council resolution on this. How dare the sun give us so little daylight!

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Posted by brrrrr
a resident of Palo Alto Orchards
on Dec 22, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Why is it so cold, i have been living in dread of global warming, i turned of my gas heater, i can hardly see by the light of these twisty light bulbs, i have turned my SUV into a composting box-- i am freezing --even my dog is freezing-- who is responsible for this --i bet its that wicked witch Ladoris Cordell-- is she in cahoots with Iran?

The city must take this up i have robbed where is the warming i was told about?

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Los Altos
on Dec 22, 2007 at 8:40 pm

If people would just stop giving all their sunlight to the homeless in downtown PA, maybe we wouldn't have this problem.

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