Eyes to the Sky: Enjoy the last week of true sun time


Sunrise on Saturrday will be at 6:29 Eastern Standard Time (EST); by next Saturday, March 8, the sun will be up 11 minutes earlier, at 6:18 EST. The next day, Sunday the 9th, most Americans will advance clocks an hour so that sunrise will be at 7:16, known as daylight saving time (DST) or Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). It will be a month before sunrise will be at 6:18 again!

Those who rise early and have come to enjoy morning light best savor it this coming week before being plunged back into darkness for the first hour of the day. Stargazers can anticipate with relish an extra morning hour with the stars and planets. Relatively late risers get another chance to see morning’s cosmic wonders until close to 7.

The hour of daylight lost in the morning is tacked on to the afternoon. Sunset Saturday will be at 5:42 EST; by next Saturday, the 8th, sunset will be at 5:51 EDT. The next day, Sunday the 9th, sundown will be at 6:52 EDT. At its inception, the movement to artificially make a longer day and a shorter night was said to be described by a Native American chief something like this: "Only the government would believe you could cut a foot off the bottom of a blanket, sew it to the top, and have a longer blanket." Farmers and others who live and work by the sun’s light keep to solar time of necessity and find their rhythms disrupted when required to interface with industry and the rest of society operating on clock time. In 2007 an extra four weeks was added to DST.

New Moon occurs overnight tonight, at 3 a.m. Look for Luna’s reappearance as a thin crescent following the setting sun on Sunday. Sunset will be at 5:44 and moonset at 7:41. To the right, west-northwest, the Great Square of Pegasus appears balanced above the horizon.

To contact Judy Isacoff go to www.naturesturn.org


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