ROANOKE, Va. – Notice the sunlight peering in a little earlier lately? Throughout the final week of spring, the sun will be rising at its earliest time of the year.
At 5:59 a.m., the roosters crows and the day gets started from June 13 to June 20.
Why is it that the earliest sunrise isn't on the Summer Solstice? It has to do with two things: 1) Earth's 23.5° tilt and elliptical orbit around the sun and 2) Earth's distance from the sun (aphelion - farthest distance in its orbit).
For those keeping score at home, summer officially begins on June 21, 2019 shortly before Noon.
This is the moment that the sun's rays are directly above (90°) the Tropic of Cancer, located at 23.5°N Latitude.
By the time the Fall Equinox happens, the sun will rise shortly after 7 a.m. in southwest and central Virginia.