Practical Astronomy

Jaime pointed out with some enthusiasm yesterday morning that the winter solstice – the shortest day of the year – comes Tuesday. (Specifically, it’s at 5:42 a.m. our time if I’ve done the UT-MST calculation correctly.)

For everyday life in our secular society, this is of little import. We’ve got no celebration tied tightly to the day. But when Jaime made the observation, the sun had just popped over the mountains, and the temperature was still hovering in the high 20s, and we were on bikes. For the early morning cyclist, the notion that the day will start lengthening soon is cause for celebration.

(Update: That’s the high 20s Fahrenheit. Apologies to my more progressive metric readers.)