Friday, July 24, 2015

Why does the old adage go "It's always darkest before dawn?"

That's patently false. Anyone who's stayed up all night--doing healthy non-hedonistic activities of course!--can plainly see that the sky lightens pretty gradually and evenly as the Earth turns us towards the sun.

It's actually darkest at Midnight. That is to say, twelve hours after real Noon, or about twelve hours after the sun has reached its highest peak in the sky. (n.b. Daylight Savings plus the arrangement of time zones make it so these don't precisely sync with 12am or 12pm.)

At true Midnight, the sun is on the direct opposite side of the planet, meaning that's when the least amount of light will reach us in this hemisphere.

And to be really pedantic, it's officiallly darkest at Midnight during the new moon phase of the lunar cycle.

So next time you're despondent and try to find solace in telling yourself it's always darkest before dawn, just remember that science says you're only halfway through your problems.