Garrett Harris 4 p.m., Dec. 22
Earliest Sunset of the Year
Earliest Sunset. (4:43 p.m. from San Diego) occurs Monday, December 6, a date that is not coincident with the shortest day (winter solstice — December 21) because of factors relating to the noncircular shape of Earth's orbit around the sun and the tilt of Earth's rotational axis. Early December is a good time to view the setting sun from the spectacular vantage point of Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma. During most of the year, you can't do that since sunset occurs well after the park's closing time of 5 p.m.
The Waxing Crescent Moon returns to easy visibility in the evening sky on Tuesday, December 7 -- though sharp-eyed observers might spot it very low in the west at dusk on the previous evening. The moon's "thin-grin" form will tilt slightly to the left as it hovers above the last bit of evening twilight glow.
More like this:
- The Earliest Sunrise of 2010 — June 14, 2010
- 2009's Earliest Sunrise — June 13, 2009
- Lowest Temperatures, Latest Sunrise, Fullest Moon, Lowest Tide — Jan. 9, 2009
- Poinsettias, Exceptional Tides, the Moon of Longs Nights, and the Geminid Meteor Shower — Dec. 10, 2008
- Shorebird Watching, Earliest Sunset, Cross-Country Skiers, and Toyon — Dec. 4, 2008