A view took notice to the fact that our sunrises have gotten later since before the solstice and wanted to know why the days are not getting longer equally in the morning and at night. The answer has to do with a couple of facts. The first is that while the winter solstice is often referred to the shortest day, it’s actually the middle of a period of about 20 days where day length does not change much at all. Though as the viewer noticed, sunsets start to get later in mid-December even though sunrises are still getting later. While the daylength is not changing much, both get later because the day is actually just over 24 hours in length this time of the year.
Secondly, while we are heading into the winter season, did you know that we are closer to the sun now than we are in July? In fact, tonight is the Perihelion which marks the Earth’s closest point to the sun. We are just over 3 million miles closer than in early July. Though this distance has nothing to do with the seasons, that’s due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis.