BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — As the seasons change and the year goes on, you notice a few changes. Temperatures will fluctuate, trees will gain leaves and lose them, and of course, the days grow and shorten with time. Another curious seasonal change you might notice is the sun rises and sets in different places, depending on the time of year.
Much like the changing of the seasons, the reason why the sun doesn’t always rise exactly due east or set exactly due west has to do with the Earth’s 23.5 degree tilt.
There are at least two days a year when the sun will follow the old adage of “rising in the east and setting in the west”. Those days for us aren’t the spring or winter equinoxes, but the equilux — the date when we see 12 hours of day or 12 hours of night. Due to our latitudinal position on the Earth, the equilux is always the day before the equinox for Beckley.
On both the winter and summer solstices, we see the sun rise and set at its most extreme points. For the summer solstice, the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, which means it rises and sets more towards the north. As for the winter solstice, the sun is seen rising and setting more to the south since the northern hemisphere is tilted away from it.
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