Sunrise Sunset

Fri., Dec. 19 7:04 4:13

Sat., Dec. 20 7:04 4:13

Sun., Dec. 21 7:05 4:14

Mon., Dec. 22 7:05 4:14

Tues., Dec. 23 7:06 4:15

Wed., Dec. 24 7:06 4:15

Thurs., Dec. 25 7:06 4:16

Fri., Dec. 26 7:07 4:17

For those up really late tonight there is an astronomical event worth noting. Tonight’s last quarter moon appears close to the ringed-planet Saturn. Both are in the zodiacal constellation Virgo. Saturn is the brightest “star” in the area and has a yellowish tint. Find the moon and the solar system’s second largest planet is nearby.

Saturn was an early morning planet and this is changing. With the movement of the Earth around the Sun, it is now shifting into a more convenient time.

Saturn lacks its usual brilliance. Its rings are lined up with the earth and are being seen nearly on edge.

The constellation Virgo is more often associated with spring and summer. With winter only a few days away, Virgo makes its appearance after midnight.

On Sunday morning, just before the official arrival of winter, the crescent moon appears close to Spica, the principal star in Virgo.

Winter Solstice

The first day of winter is Sunday. Astronomers and time keepers say winter arrives precisely at 7:04 a.m. Eastern standard time. Fortunately, the Earth’s movements are a predictable constant, timekeepers can get it down to fractions of seconds. Winter begins in this hemisphere when the sun is farthest south from the Equator.