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Chicago’s Earliest Sunset Of The Year Happens Today — At 4:19 PM

Starting Friday, the sun will set later and later until we're at a post-5 p.m. sunset in late January.

The sun sets along Chicago’s east-west streets during the spring equinox in a phenomenon known as Chicagohenge on March 20, 2022, as seen from Streeterville.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — If starting and ending work in the dark is getting you down, there’s good news — and bad news.

The good news: Starting Friday, the sun will set later and later until Chicago’s at a post-5 p.m. sunset in late January. The bad: Thursday will see the earliest sunset of the year — at 4:19 p.m.

Brian Leatherwood, a metrologist for the National Weather Service, said the city’s point on the planet is getting closer and closer to the sun because of the Earth’s axial tilt and elliptical orbit.

Thursday will be the earliest sunset along that journey, and days will stay short as the city reaches its closest point to the sun — known as the perihelion — on Jan. 4, Leatherwood said.

Sunrises will be later and later by mere minutes as Chicago reaches the perihelion, Leatherwood said.

Winter is officially here, Leatherwood said. And day lengths are currently about nine hours and change.

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