Starting this weekend, most New England communities are experiencing the latest sunrises of the winter season. In Boston, the sunrise will be 7:14 a.m. through Tuesday. After that point, the sunrises will begin getting earlier.
You'll recall that sunsets are already getting later, after the earliest was recorded back in December.
It’s a common misconception that the latest sunrise and earliest sunset occur on the same day, on the first day of winter.
The difference stems from the way we measure time. On a watch, a day is exactly 24 hours. Scientifically, a day stretches from one solar noon to the next. Solar noon is the time at which the sun reaches its highest point in the sky on any given day.
As you might guess, solar noon is not exactly 24 hours in length. It varies over the course of the year. During the winter, it’s a little bit less than 24 hours.
So, the built-up difference between our measured day and the solar day creates an offset between the latest sunrises and earliest sunsets.
By the end of January, we'll be picking up about 2 minutes of daylight each day.