The days are getting longer!

This post is scheduled to go live at 8:11 Saturday morning, Alaska time, at which time the earth reaches the point in its orbit where the south pole points as closely as it ever does directly at the sun. The north pole, of more interest to those of us in the northern hemisphere, is pointing as far as possible from the sun, so that the sun is never visible from points north of the Arctic circle.

In Fairbanks the sun will rise. It will poke its upper edge above the horizon, 25° east of south, at 10:58 in the morning, and will set at 2:40 this afternoon, 25° west of south. At its highest, at 12:49 pm, its center will be a mere 2°, four times its own diameter, above the horizon.

But from now on the days will be getting longer.

(This was last year, when it was clear on the solstice. I’m pretty sure it was taken out of an office window at the Geophysical Institute, probably from right next to my old office, if not from it. The slight jaggedness on the horizon is the Alaska Range, seventy to a hundred fifty miles away. The mist is ice fog in the Tanana Valley — the temperature last year when this was taken was between -38° F and – 45° F.)