Darkest Before the Dawn

It’s been very, very dark around here lately but Cliff Mass delivers the good news that there are longer days ahead.

It's been very dark around here lately.

It’s been very dark around here lately.

In fact, the measurements of solar radiation on top of the atmospheric sciences building showed that today was the 6th darkest day since the beginning of the year, with Sunday being the fourth darkest (thanks to Mark Albright for supplying these numbers). Here is the total daily radiation in megajoules per day per square meter (megajoules is an amount of energy) for the darkest days of the year:

19 Nov 2012 0.47
23 Nov 2012 0.49
4 Jan 2012 0.76
9 Dec 2012 0.79
15 Jan 2012 0.93
11 Dec 2012 0.94
22 Jan 2012 0.99

In mid-summer we often get above 20, and occasionally above 30. Yes, we can get 20-30 times more radiation in summer than during this dark days. No wonder we feel better then.

But I have some very good news for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the need to wear sunglasses… sunset is no longer moving earlier and today sunset actually occurred slightly later than yesterday.

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