On which of the following days does the sunset in Moscow occur first of all? the latest? December 12, December 22, January 1.

It would seem that the earliest sunset of the three listed dates should be December 22, since this day practically coincides with the moment of the winter solstice. However, in fact, December 22 will be the shortest day, but not the earliest sunset! After all, the time of sunset is determined not only by the longitude of the day, which almost does not change during the second half of December, but also by the value of the equation of time, which, on the contrary, at this time changes the fastest in a year and leads to the fact that both sunrise and climax, and the setting of the Sun before the New Year every day occurs a little later than the previous day. As a result, the earliest sunset of these days will occur on December 12, and the latest – on January 1, as can be seen by taking any issue of the “Astronomical calendar”.

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