As the UK moves further through 2020, it is noticeable that the days are getting longer.
Sunrises are getting earlier and sunsets are getting later as the Earth makes its annual orbit around the Sun.
Winter time and the long nights and short days can lead to SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder.
The NHS says the exact cause of SAD is not fully understood, but “it’s often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight”.
A lack of exposure to our nearest star can also see people get less vitamin D than they need, which helps with bone, tooth and muscle health as well as preventing rickets.
What time is sunrise and sunset today?
The sunrise today, February 14, was at 7.17am in London, while the sunset is at 5.13pm, according to the Met Office.
While this is the time that the Sun will rise above the horizon twilight times stretching either side mean there is a bit of light in the sky for early risers and late settlers.
Sunrise and sunset change every day and we’ll explain why.
Why does the time of sunrise and sunset change?
The time the sun rises and sets – and therefore the length of the day – changes because the Earth is tilted on its axis.
This tilt means that each part of the planet averages 12 hours of light and dark daily, but this is only the regular occurrence near the equator.
In the extreme, the North and South Poles have 24 hour daylight in their respective summers and round the clock darkness during winter.
Because the length of the day is dictated by a location’s distance from the Sun, different parts of the UK see different amounts of sunlight.
In the summer, Scotland and the north of England have longer days than the south of England.
In the winter, the northern quarters have longer nights.
When are the shortest and longest days of the year?
The shortest day of the year is the winter solstice, on December 21.
In London the sun rises just after 8am and sets just before 4pm, meaning there is just eight hours of light and 16 hours of nighttime.
The date of the solstice has been known throughout time and is celebrated at Stonehenge – which is more than 4,000 years old.
Stonehenge also marks the longest day of the year – the summer solstice.
This is on June 21 every year, when the sun rises at 4.43am and sets at 9.21pm, giving Londoners 16 hours and 38 minutes of sunlight.
When do the days get longer than nights?
The days and nights are the same length twice a year at the equinox – literally meaning “equal night”.
It happens twice a year, once in the spring on March 21 and once in the autumn on September 22.
After the spring – or vernal – date, the days are longer than the nights, and after the autumnal equinox the opposite is true.
What about British Summer Time?
British Summer Time – or Daylight savings – stretches from the last Sunday in March to the Last Sunday in October.
In 2020 this will be between March 29 and October 25.
Changing the clocks forward in spring and back in autumn means there are more daylight hours for work in the summer.
A useful to mnemonic to remember which way to move wind your clock is that clocks spring forward in March and fall back in October.
Source: Evening Standard UK