Saturday, December 25


Latitude and Lightitude

I was thinking about James Lileks and Michele Catalano's posts about Christmas lights and the difference between coloured-lighters and white-lighters, and reflecting that around here (Sydney) people don't really go in for Christmas lights very much.

And then I thought to myself: Duh!

Mr Lileks lives in Minneapolis. This time of year, the sun rises at 7:50 am and sets at 4:36 pm (#). That's less than 9 hours of daylight. Plenty of dark time for everyone to see your handiwork.

In Sydney today the sun rose at 5:42 am and set at 8:07 pm (#). Not a reverse of Minneapolis, since we are not as latitudinally blessed* as that city, but nearly 14½ hours of daylight. Unless you were out late or up very early, you'd never see the lights.

* Mineappolis is 45° N; Sydney about 34° S. The southernmost city in Australia, Hobart, is only 43° S. Dunedin in New Zealand, at roughly 46° S, is currently blessed with 15¾ hours of daylight.

For my American readers (hi there!) Sydney is about the same distance from the equator as Long Beach, California. And no, it doesn't snow here. Particularly not at Christmas. Except for one occasion, on which subject Google has let me down utterly...

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