Don Bauder 12:30 p.m., Sept. 18
Daylight Savings Time Begins This Weekend
Pacific Daylight Time, or "daylight saving time," starts on Sunday morning, March 13, at 2 a.m. No time is "saved" by advancing our clocks by one hour. This sneaky trick in civil time is designed to rouse us out of bed an hour earlier so that we can enjoy what seems to be an extra hour of daylight before the sun goes down. Daylight saving time, when applied to the months of long daylight, has been proven to save significant amounts of electrical energy.
February's Days-Long Episodes of Bright Sunshine may have been be enough to trigger the early emergence (probably in early to mid-March) of bright green leaves on sycamore, liquidambar, and other decorative deciduous trees around San Diego. Cruise down 163 through Balboa Park to appreciate the vernal splendor of the sycamores growing in the landscaped center divider. Or walk across Balboa Park's Cabrillo bridge and look down upon the same.
Jupiter, which is visible low in the western sky at dusk (around 7:30 p.m.), is joined on the evenings of March 14 and 15 by the planet Mercury. The much fainter Mercury lies just two degrees to the right of Jupiter, and you may need binoculars to see it. This close approach grants sky observers the easiest chance of locating and spotting elusive Mercury in the sky during 2011.