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Schrödinger's Pussy
Observing a box has never been this much fun
*pondering* 
21st-Dec-2007 07:20 am
Warm Fuzzy
Can someone help me prove out something, please?

If the 2007 Winter Solstice begins at 1:08 am on December 22 (an hour after midnight tonight), when is the longest night of the year? Tonight or tomorrow night?

No guesses, please. I'm trying to find the length of night (or day) today and tomorrow to know for sure.

Anyone find any good resources to prove this out?
Comments 
21st-Dec-2007 12:58 pm (UTC)
I know the farmer's almanac has it, and accuweather.com has how long of daylight there is.
21st-Dec-2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
As far as I can tell, according to this thing it seems like the night of the 22-23 is the longest. I'll need to double check my math sometime when I have time. And then I don't know if the linked calendar is accurate or not either. I'm sure an almanac or ephemeris would have the information we need.
21st-Dec-2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
Ok. Haven't had my coffee yet, but I got it.

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneDay.php

For Delta, OH:

12/21 - Sunrise (7:59am), Sunset (5:09pm)
12/22 - Sunrise (8:00am), Sunset (5:09pm)
12/23 - Sunrise (8:00am), Sunset (5:10pm)

So, contrary to my original thinking, we have one more minute of light today that we do tomorrow, making tomorrow a darker day.
21st-Dec-2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
but then the 23rd is the same light as the 21st in terms of tiemes. Starts and ends a minute later on both sides.

So there are equally dark..

It's Solstice Strip Tease!
21st-Dec-2007 04:02 pm (UTC)
Indeed. It is a conundrum. It hurts my brain.

If they broke time down further to the second, the answer would be obvious. *shakes fist at aa.usno.navy.mil* Since the solstice occurs between sunset on the 21st and sunrise on the 22nd, tonight should be the longest night, since tonight we hit that apex and by 1:08am tomorrow night we're already into our trip into brighter days.

Curse Debra for this aggravating lesson in reading comprehension, curse my husband for waking me up ON A VACATION DAY(!!!) and curse my own tenacity for not being able to just skim past this post and let it go, especially before I've had my morning caffeine.
21st-Dec-2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
Damn Navy military sites. :P Stupid.

I always default to the day, regardless of the actual time. Hell, I just like the number "21" better than I do "22". :) 21st June is Summer Solstice, 21st December is Winter Solstice.. at least, in my world.

This helps Deb in no way at all. None. Nada. :)
21st-Dec-2007 05:34 pm (UTC)
I'm a purist. I don't care about "longest night" or "darkest day". The solstice is that one moment at 01:08:whateveram, kind of like the hooplah at New Years is over for me at 12:01am on 01/01. It's the climax I'm interested in. :D I'm willing to celebrate the solstice in the days building up to it, and maybe even the day of, but that's just an excuse to party. :)
21st-Dec-2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
But if I want to light my candles to welcome the sun back after the longest night of the year, do I light it tonight or tomorrow night?

Edited at 2007-12-21 06:53 pm (UTC)
22nd-Dec-2007 03:26 am (UTC)
That's up to you. Unless you're going to be awake to welcome the sun back at 1:08am tonight, I'd light them tomorrow evening. I don't think the sun expects you to be there to pick it up at the airport and help carry its luggage, but then again, I don't really know. The sun could very well be a real self-centered bastard. ;)
22nd-Dec-2007 11:49 am (UTC)
No...it's not up to me. I was trying to puzzle this out to understand a very particular event, the actual longest night of the year.

It's important to me, to the way I celebrate this moment each year. Does the Christian God really care when the masses are said? Of course not, but the devout still attend midnight mass on Christmas because it has a special meaning to them. This moment has a deeply spiritual meaning for me and it's not based on a date, but a celestial event. I am not the baggage clerk for the sun. I am a worshipper who wants to show my devotion with a prayer and a token of faith. Not just when it's convenient, but at the correct and appropriate moment.
22nd-Dec-2007 02:35 pm (UTC)
Sorry. I didn't mean to offend.
21st-Dec-2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
Right. So if I want to light my candle to welcome the sun back during the longest night, do I do that tonight or tomorrow night?
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21st-Dec-2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
Yes. Now...if one were to light a candle on the longest night to burn until the sun returns in the morning of the first day of Winter, when would one do that this year?
22nd-Dec-2007 03:28 am (UTC)
AH! You want the candle lit in the window waiting for the sun? Then that's tonight. ...Just don't burn your house down. I know two people who almost lost their houses to unattended candles.
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23rd-Dec-2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
I did choose last night as it was the longest night of the year, and while Winter started at 1:08 am yesterday, it did mark the shortest day and the longest night. Today is 4 seconds longer and that is the morning I wanted to welcome back.

As far as personal decision, I'm not so sure. I really believe that there was a "right" answer to my question, I believe that the answer I reasoned out was appropriate for my purpose. Ultimately, it likely doesn't matter to the universe, but it mattered lots to me.

Thanks for helping me find the answer. *hug*
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