An extra hour of day for Halloween night

Sunset in the graveyard on Halloween. Photo: Jim Pennucci, Ceative Commons, some rights reserved

Sunset in the graveyard on Halloween. Photo: Jim Pennucci, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Our friend and radio colleague, astronomer Aileen O’Donoghue,  sent around a message today confirming that, YES, you’re right!  It’s getting light really late these mornings.

We won’t switch the clocks back to Standard Time until Sunday morning (remember: spring ahead, fall back). That puts sunrise Saturday at 7:40:01. Now, I’m an early-riser and I’m at work by 6:30 most mornings, so I’m sort of used to having a few hours of darkness at the beginning of my day. But, jeepers. That’s LATE.

On Sunday, though, sunrise is back at a reasonable hour: 6:41:23.  It’s a bit cock-eyed between the fall and spring time changes. That is, the chage comes late in the fall AND later in the spring. We’re actually staying on Daylight savings time later into the fall than we used to; according to Aileen (and I trust her on these things) it’s all about Halloween:

Senator Michael Enzi (R, WY) and Representative Fred Upton (R, MI) advocated that the “Energy Policy Act of 2005” in which the dates of Daylight Saving Time were set (second Sunday of March and first Sunday of November), should keep us on Daylight Saving Time long enough for the kids to be able to go trick-or-treating in more daylight.  On Halloween, therefore, the sun will set at 5:50:40 pm EDT, whereas on Sunday, it will set at 4:46:35 pm EST.  So the kids will, indeed, be out when there’s more light.

We can’t guarantee that it won’t be rain (or snow) on trick or treaters tonight, but we DO know when the night will fall.

…Thanks to Aileen O’Donoghue for the info; she and I talk more about “gaining dark” and other fun and encouraging seasonal phenomena next week when she stops by the studios during the 8 o”clock Hour. It’ll be full day then…next week.

4 Comments on “An extra hour of day for Halloween night”

  1. Pete Klein says:

    When I was a kid, no self respecting kid would go out trick or treating before it got dark.

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  2. Mike says:

    Since we set the clocks back roughly 7 weeks before the first day of winter, why do they wait until roughly 12 weeks after the first day of winter to change back? The length of daylight available in the mornings 7 weeks after the first day of winter is roughly the same as 7 weeks before it so why not make the changes the same going back or forward? Anyone have an answer? I think most people I’ve queeried on this issue feel the same as I do, set them forward earlier.

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  3. Walker says:

    Right you are, Pete. And what ever happened to the “trick” part, and Cabbage/Mischief Night? Kids these days are wusses! Probably has a lot to do with growing up under helicopter parenting.

    (Of course, I’m happy not to have to clean soap and wax off my windshield.)

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  4. Pete Klein says:

    Forgot to mention what a great photo of a graveyard and how it would make a great puzzle of paint by numbers.
    The “trick” Walker mentions was part of the deal back in the 50’s. I always went trick or treating with a bar of soap. (My dad approved of soap but not wax) The soap was used for the houses where it was pretty darn obvious people were home but were just pretending not to be home. Those places got soaped.

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