The longest night is over.

The winter solstice has come and gone, so now the nights will start getting shorter again. While I always take that as happy news, it’s hard to get too excited about. Really, you’re celebrating finally hitting the ground after a long fall for no other reason than the fact that it’s all up from here.

There’s some interesting stuff surrounding the solstice though. It should be no surprise that the math folks have formulas for all the night & day times, though I won’t claim to fully understand them – I’m a computer guy, we do applied math. I can calculate that for you, given the formula, but you’re gonna have to get someone else to interpret it. Which, thankfully, they have. There’s a neat little graphic over here down under “function graphs” showing the change in day length at our latitude (which is about 39N so you don’t have to google it like I did…)

(an hour passes…)

Okay, I just pissed away an hour fiddling with Excel and graphs. Fun! Maybe I’ll upload it later for you to fiddle with, though it’s kinda ghetto…. Oh what the hell. If you want to fiddle with it directly, here’s the excel file. There’s no fancy drop boxes and no value checking (you can type in “puppy” for latitude but its not going to calculate anything) but you can put in any northern latitude you want and see how long any given day is and what the longest and shortest day durations are. Here in D.C our longest day is 14h, 43m. Our shortest is 9h, 16m. Metroblogging city San Fran is about the same with 14h 37m and 9h 22m but our buddies in Seattle get 15h 46m and only 8h 13m at the shortest!

Yep, I’m a dork.

1 Comment so far

  1. Herbert Glarner (unregistered) on January 5th, 2007 @ 12:23 am

    Good morning to DC from an awfully cold Switzerland.

    Am directing the people who have difficulties with the formulas to your blog post now, in order to download your neat Excel file; hope you don’t mind :)

    //Herbert Glarner

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