LONG DAYS!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: January 1, 2024

Long cold Winters are also darker with shorter, colder days. That’s because the sun’s warming rays fall further south than Montana. We are already further up the hemisphere than equatorial countries. The Earth’s Equator gets the most intense heat from solar rays than us. 

In Montana we get Equinoxes and Solstices. As the Earth orbits the sun, the axis, or tilt of the Earth is closer or further from solar rays. The Earth only gets 7% of the Sun’s rays, on a good day. As the distance and angle of the Earth changes, this energy changes. 

A Solstice occurs when the focal point of the Sun is at a certain point above or below Earth’s Equator. An Equinox occurs at a halfway point between the Solstice or “Standstill “point. Every day in our 365 days per year calendar are a different length. 

The Christmas holidays are loved by many but in Montana, these are often the shortest days and longest nights. We now know that the El Nino water currents are also impacted by the Sun’s rays. This is what controls our weather in Big Sky Country. The Pacific Ocean’s water temperatures change due to the angle and intensity of the Sun.

Currently the Sun is in a dynamic and intense phase. Solar flares and solar temperatures are warmer than they have been in decades. This normal cycle is what impacts our weather and temperatures. Humans can’t blame or control the Sun, so instead politicians scream Global Warming as a human caused condition. For countries with more consistent and direct Sunlight, solar collectors are a good idea. This is not the case in Montana and other northern spaces. Snow covered, cold roofs, with less than 9 hours of Sunlight a day, need another energy solution. 

Here are some days to look forward to!

Dec. 21-22 Shortest days of the year. (about 8 hrs. of daylight)

Jan. 1st Sunrise is at 8:08am and sunset at 4:43pm. (8hrs. and 35 min. of daylight)

Feb. 1st Sunrise is at 7:48am and Sunset is at 5:24pm. (9 hrs. and 36 min. of daylight)

Mar. 1st Sunrise is at 7:03am and sunset is at 6:05pm. (11 hrs. and 2 min. of daylight)

April 1st Sunrise is at 6:03am and sunset is at 6:49pm. (12 hrs. and 46 min. of daylight)

May 1st Sunrise is at 5”08am and sunset is at 7:30pm. (14 hrs. and 22 min. of daylight)

June 1st Sunrise is at 4:31 am and sunset is at 8:07 pm. (15 hours and 36 min. of daylight)

July 1st Sunrise is at 4:30am and sunset is at 8:20pm. (15hours and 50 minutes)

August 1st Sunrise is at 5:00am and sunset is at 7:55pm. (14 hours and 55 minutes)

Sept. 1st Sunrise is at 5:39am and sunset is at 7:03pm. (13 hours and 24 minutes)

On the bright side, our long summer days are pretty inviting. Rarely do we need air conditioning. In Montana, it could and has snowed every month of the year!

Think Spring! 

 Montana Grant

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