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Sunset over New York City
Photograph: Shutterstock

The earliest sunset of the year in New York is happening tonight!

It's happening at approximately 4:28pm.

Anna Rahmanan
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Anna Rahmanan
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As we prepare for the first snow of the season, we also gear up to enjoy the earliest sunset of the year here in New York, which is scheduled to happen this afternoon at approximately 4:28pm—yes, that would be smack-dab in the middle of the workday. 

According to the National Weather Service, what's particularly interesting about this year's earliest sunset is that it actually will not coincide with the winter solstice, set to occur on December 21. 

According to the Farmer's Almanac, it is the "sun's odd looping path [that] explains why the earliest sunset and latest sunrise fail to exactly coincide with the solstices." It actually isn't that odd of an occurrence, apparently. As explained on the website: "a similar effect happens during the summer solstice (June 21), when the earliest sunrise arrives about a week before it (June 14th) , and the latest sunset occurs about a week after the solstice (June 27)." You can read more about the exact phenomenon right here

But there's more: the National Weather Service just let the public know that we can actually expect early sunsets to keep on happening for the next few weeks and plan for our days to only average around 9 hours of daylight in total each. No, that's not a lot but, as depressing as that might sound, there is something beautiful about New York City in the evening, so you won't find us complaining about the seasonal event.

Given the shortness of our days, though, we'd like to suggest a few activities to partake in once the sun goes down. From cozy heated igloos looking out on the Rockefeller Center to an outing at a new mixology bar/art gallery in SoHo, a karaoke session at this newly-launched spot at Pier 17, an evening of drinking at this hell-inspired bar or a night spent at a jazz speakeasy in Hamilton Heights, there are plenty of things to do in New York at night.

Take in the darkness and go explore the city instead of bemoaning the arrival of the shortest days of the year. It'll be summer again soon enough, after all.

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