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WEATHER BLOG

December 07, 2007|By FRANK ROYLANCE | FRANK ROYLANCE,SUN REPORTER

Irwin Weiss, of Baltimore, wins the prize for the season's first note asking why the earliest sunset of the year (4:43 p.m. in Baltimore) occurs on Dec. 7 and not on the winter solstice (Dec. 22). It's too arcane to explain here, maybe anywhere. Blame daily and seasonal variations in the Earth's orbit and spin, which stretch differences between "solar" time and "clock" time. The shortest day is Dec. 22; the latest sunrise on Jan. 5. Same thing happens in June, only in reverse.

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