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Skywatch: Look for early sunsets

The earliest sunsets of the year are this week.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — If you notice the sun setting a little earlier this week you’re not imagining things. The earliest sunsets don’t actually occur on the winter solstice but a few weeks before it. 

The reason for that is the fact that a solar day or the time between two successive solar noons (when the Sun is highest in the sky) isn’t exactly 24 hours. 

This results in the earliest sunsets happening before the solstice, which is the shortest day of the year in terms of daylight. 

According to sunrise-sunset.org the sunset on both Tuesday and Wednesday will be at 5:07 p.m. and 44 seconds.

Venus will reach something known as greatest brightness this week. It’s predicted to hit this on Tuesday evening.

You’ll be able to find Venus and two other planets in the south to the southwestern sky this week. Venus will be low in the southwestern sky with Saturn then Jupiter just above and left of it. 

On Thursday evening the moon will be just to the left of Jupiter throughout the night.

Speaking of the moon it reaches first quarter on Friday evening at 8:36 p.m. Look for the moon in the evening as it sets just after midnight on Saturday. 

Happy hunting!