When we were in Costa Rica at language school, we blogged about the different times of sunrises and sunsets throughout the year in Costa Rica, Eugene (where most of our family lives), and Quito. You can read that post here.
We knew when we moved to Quito there would be little change in day length throughout the year. What we didn’t realize was that sunrises and sunsets would shift earlier and later throughout the year, seemingly unrelated to the solstices and equinoxes.
So, for those of you who enjoy random trivia, here’s what happens. Data once again is from timeanddate.com. You can find their cool, clickable graph for Quito here.
Quito Sunrise & Sunset at the Solstice and Equinox
|Dec 21||6:08 a.m.||6:16 p.m.||12 hrs, 8 min.|
|Mar 21||6:18 a.m.||6:24 p.m.||12 hrs, 6 min.|
|June 21||6:13 a.m.||6:19 p.m.||12 hrs, 6 min.|
|Sept 21||6:04 a.m.||6:10 p.m.||12 hrs, 6 min.|
Quito Earliest & Latest Sunrises & Sunsets
|Feb 4-21||6:24 a.m.||6:31 p.m.||12 hrs, 7 min.|
|May 4-22||6:07 a.m.||6:13 p.m.||12 hrs, 6 min.|
|Jul 17-Aug 3||6:17 a.m.||6:23 p.m.||12 hrs, 6 min.|
|Nov 1-7||5:53 a.m.||6:01 p.m.||12 hrs, 8 min.|
So, roughly every three months the sunrise/sunset shifts earlier or later:
- 17 or 18 minutes earlier between February and May
- 10 minutes later between May and July
- about 23 minutes earlier between August and November
- 30 or 31 minutes later between November and February
It’s not a big change, but is very noticeable if you usually ride your unicycle home from work about 6:30 p.m. What’s in the daylight in February is pitch black in November. And when you’re not expecting the changes (because you live on the Equator), it’s kind of weird.
We don’t know why the pattern is so variable. Maybe the bulge in the earth at the Equator is a factor? If you figure it out, let us know.
Just for fun, here’s the sun rising behind Cayambe one morning. It’s one of our snow-capped volcanoes.