Nighttime Losings Time

The astronomical equinox is four days away, but we are on the threshold of a critical equinoctial moment.

As of tomorrow, the days will be longer than the nights, and by two whole minutes. The sun will rise at 7:08 a.m. EDT, and set at 7:10 p.m.

We were alerted to this cosmic event by esteemed colleague Tom Infield, who has been known to count minutes on company time.

He informed us somewhat excitedly this morning that today was the day of precisely 12 hours of daylight.

That was based on his interpretation of an iPhone app provided by a commercial service. But according to the U.S. Naval Observatory, today has only 11 hours and 59 minutes of daylight in Philadelphia.

As much as we trust Infield with such important information, we have to go with the military.

We can say with certainty that daylight is gaining ground at the rate of about 2.5 minutes per calendar day.

We can also say that all this is all in the realm of technicality: Spring actually arrived around Dec. 1.