December 2015, Sun and Moon


The Sun

It’s December.  Time for least sunlight and greatest darkness.  The amounts of daylight and darkness are flipped from what they were six months ago; this is a month with 9 hours of sunlight and 15 hours of darkness.  The graph above (click it to see it larger) shows the meager sunlight during December in the Chicago area and mid-northern latitudes.

The sun reaches the solstice on December 21 at 5:11 a.m. CST.  On this day the sun rises and sets at its farthest southern point.  The arc of its path across the sky is lowest and shortest.  This events signals the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere.  While at the coldest time, this could mean snow, gloves and a warm coat on Christmas Day while in Sydney, Australia is a trip to the beach.

The Moon

NASA Photo


Phase Date/Time Moonrise Moonset
Last Quarter 12/03/15  (1;40 a.m.) 11:24 p.m. (12/02) 12:25 p.m.
New Moon 12/11/15 (4:29 a.m.) 7:00 a.m. 5:02 p.m.
First Quarter 12/18/15 (9:14 a.m.) Noon 12:25 a.m. 12/19)
Full Moon 12/25/15 (5:11 a.m.) 4:12 p.m. (12/24) 7:03 a.m.
Times are Central Standard Time for Chicago, Illinois, from US Naval Observatory calculations. (For mjb)

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