Tonight is Denver’s last 8 p.m. sunset until May 2021
Funny how things can sneak away from you when you aren’t paying attention. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve already lost an hour of daylight since the summer solstice fell on June 20 — that would be the longest day of the year — and you may be alarmed to learn that Tuesday will mark the last sunset in the 8 p.m. hour until next May.
You might say you’ve had a whole lot of abnormally long days this year, but that’s another story.
Sunset on Tuesday will occur precisely at 8 p.m., astronomically speaking. The sun actually will appear to disappear behind the mountains a little earlier than that, of course, depending on where you are, because the mountains poke up above the horizon.
According to timeanddate.com, an international database for sun and moon data, we had 14 hours, 59 minutes, 15 seconds of daylight on June 20, the first day of summer, and today we’ll be down to 13 hours, 51 minutes, 42 seconds. We’ll do the math for you. That’s a loss of 67 minutes, 33 seconds in just eight weeks.
Sunset on June 20 occurred at 8:31 p.m., when the day was 5 hours, 38 minutes longer than it will be when the winter solstice comes in December.
We’ll lose another hour by the time the autumnal equinox arrives and fall begins on Sept. 22, when sunset will occur at 6:56 p.m. The winter solstice will occur Dec. 21, when the sun will rise at 7:17 a.m. and set at 4:39 p.m.
The next time we will see the sun at 8 p.m.? Not until May 7, 2021.