STATS: June and the shortest day – Cape Town

We’re into June (cue comments of “where does the time go?” etc.) and Cape Town (last time I checked) is located deep (about 33 degrees deep) in the Southern Hemisphere.
The relevance of those temporal and geographical observations is that June contains our shortest day. And this year, much the same as every other year, June 21st has won through once again. [polite applause]

Note: I’m writing this on the morning of June 1st, but as I don’t know when you’ll read it, some of the tenses might be a bit off. What a tense situation (lol, geddit?) that may would have will been!

Today, June 1st, in Cape Town the sun rose at 0743, will reach its meridian at 1244, and set at 1745, giving a daylength of 10 hours, 02 minutes and 08 seconds.
Today is 52 seconds shorter than yesterday. I know you’ll notice/have noticed.

On June 21st, in Cape Town, the sun will rise at 0751, reach its meridian at 1248 (33 degrees (who knew?) above the horizon), and set at 1744, giving a daylength of 9 hours, 53 minutes and 32 seconds.
That’s more than a second shorter than June 20th was and a whole 2 seconds shorter than June 22nd will be.

BUT…

The days only get longer because the sun sets later. The sunrise continues to be at 0751 until June 24th and then gets even later (0752) until 5th July. However, this delay is offset by the later sunset to the extent that by July 8th, we’re back to a daylength of over 10 hours.

On June 21st, the sun will be 152.034 million kilometres from Cape Town, and while than might seem quite a long way away, we’re going to drift even further away until (again, obviously) the 5th July when we will be 152.092 million kilometres away. That might not sound like a big difference, but that’s an extra 580,000 km, meaning that the sunlight will take an extra 1.935 seconds to reach us on July 5th as it does/did/will have did on June 21st. I know you’ll notice/have noticed/have will did taked note.

For comparison, Cape Town’s longest day is December 21st.
On December 21st, in Cape Town, the sun will rise at 0531 (2 hours and 20 minutes earlier than June 21st), reach its meridian at 1244 (80 degrees above the horizon), and set at 1957 (2 hours and 23 minutes later than June 21st), giving a daylength of 14 hours, 25 minutes and 05 seconds (4 hours, 32 minutes and 27 seconds longer than June 21st.)

As for Cape Town’s latest sunset this year: you missed it (or maybe you didn’t, but it’s gone already) it was 2001 on January 6th. The sun that day was “just” 147.101 million kilometres away. Light from the sun took 16.648 fewer seconds to reach us on January 6th than it will on July 5th. And light goes fast, hey?

Sunrise

Being on the west coast, Cape Town is definitely better known for its sunsets rather than its sunrises. Want one of those early morning pictures taken from an urban environment? Go to Durban.
Durban’s geographical location on the east coast of South Africa means that the sun tends to pop up there way before the sleepy Cape has even contemplated leaving its slumbers. Sunrise City, Durban is.

I’m not in Durban, but when I saw the sky beginning to light up this morning, and with Mrs 6000 volunteering to take on the school run, I took the opportunity to chuck Florence the Mavic Pro up to about 120m and snapped this:

Not bad, Cape Town. Considering you’re more about the evening thing, not bad at all.

And no, I’m not a bad workman blaming his tools the local atmosphere, but the mist and the pollution over the Cape Flats makes this image look misty and polluted. The camera isn’t to blame. The subject actually is misty and polluted. Photograph is accurate. We need some wind and rain to clean things up a bit, although then that makes flying less possible.
Catch 22, ne?

As ever, this looks better bigger and on a black background, here.

Scott Kelly Sunrise

I was going to wake up early and take some shots of the sunrise this morning. But then I didn’t.
Fortunately, astronaut Scott Kelly, currently aboard the International Space Station, took one for me:

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He must have got up properly early to get that.

The photo that I wanted to share yesterday but couldn’t because the dog ate the internet

Yes. Weekend readers will know about the difficulties I encountered this weekend in blogging what I wanted to blog, when I wanted to blog it. And yes, I do have mobile interwebs at home, but until we get the new cell tower we’ve been promised (and which some people in the neighbourhood have objected to because of a natural news article), it’s not that great.

But anyway, here’s that amazing photo, from Chris Wormwell (yes, this guy and this guy):

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Largitude here.

That’s St Michael’s Isle in the bottom right hand corner of the Isle of Man. It’s a place of great historical significance:

There is evidence for human activity on the island from the Mesolithic period onwards and there are two ancient buildings situated on the isle. Both are in a state of ruin and closed to the public, though there are a number of walks which allow visitors to explore the surroundings.

Obviously, one of them (St Michael’s Chapel, built in the 12th Century) is evident in the photo above. You can learn more here, or if you need to know the best bus to catch to get there, try here.

As for the photo: the atmosphere, the peace, the place, the solitude, the muted colours.
Beautiful.

Thanks Chris

Wery Welcome Winter Weather

I’m probably the only one thinking it. I’m probably the only one spelling Very with a W too, but that’s another story. Yes, Cape Town’s wet and windy weather this morning came as a pleasant interlude to the bright, winter sunshine for me, mainly because I’ve lost my sunglasses.

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Yes. Exactly. It’s because we’re only just past the winter equinox here that the sun is currently only getting to a maximum of about 35º above the horizon. And that’s at (today, anyway) 12:52pm. At 8am, the time when I like to set off for work during the school holidays, it’s about 11º up, which is about the same as saying RIGHT THROUGH YOUR WINDSCREEN AND IN YOUR FACE!

Talking about the sun, Cape Town moves back into having a sunset after 6pm as from the next Tuesday, 22nd July. This definitely makes for easier post work sundowners on Camps Bay beach. And in case you’re thinking that sundowners on Camps Bay beach can’t actually be done in July, you’re wrong, as I proved at 17:46:29 on the 11th of July, last year:

I’m pretty sure that sunglasses were used on that occasion.