One particularly noticeable feature of the change of the seasons this time of year is the sharp reduction in daylight. Back in late June, at the time of the summer solstice, our days were almost 16 hours long. All summer the days have been getting shorter, but not at a particularly noticeable rate. By the last day of August, we still had 13 hours and 24 minutes of sunlight in the day. During September and October, however, we lose about three minutes of light each day.

The sunrise comes later and later while the sunset comes earlier and earlier. By Sept. 30, our day will be just 11 hours and 45 minutes long. By the end of October, it will be just 10 hours and five minutes long. By the time of the winter solstice, we will be down to eight hours and 31 minutes of light each day. And even that light will be feeble, coming from low in the southern sky on those rare December sunny days.

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