June 22nd, 2022, 8:22 p.m. local time

An axiom for understanding the Cosmos at large, or nature thriving on Earth, is that balance must be maintained.  Chaos designs towards order.  Destruction opens paths to rebuilding and growth.  Death plays its role in the cycle of life.  While it can be hard to see or accept, the mechanics toward balance, whether throughout the Universe or upon our planet, are always in motion, even if the outcomes take longer than a human lifetime to manifest.

Today's picture is from June 22nd, 2022.  On this 22nd of June, as on every 22nd of June in the Northern Hemisphere, the day was shorter than that of the 21st of June, by mere seconds.  The shortening of days will be unnoticeable until we are deep into July, and then accelerate obviously through August.

For most, this can be depressing, knowing there is less daylight from here on out until we are firmly within the cold of December.  The Summer for us has only begun, and yet we already lose daylight.

This realization, when it finally came to me, was a minor downbeat on my early Summers.  But as I gradually delved into my astronomy hobby, I came to appreciate what I perceive as the opposite.  Shorter stints of daylight mean increased opportunity to observe the night sky, especially in the evenings before midnight.  For the past month or so, night has not fully settled until near 10 p.m. local time, and by 5 a.m. the Sun's East presence would already wash out the morning sky of any practical darkness.  Though I can force myself to be at the telescope at 1 a.m., I much prefer a dark sky at 8 p.m.

I once thought of the dwindling daylight as bad, but the truth was that I missed taking advantage of the increasing night.  Now, I look forward to the early darkening sky, especially through August, September, and October, before the temperature gets too cold.

Equipment and Settings Used:

  • iPhone XS camera
  • f/1.8
  • 1/770 sec exposure
  • ISO 24
  • Focal length: 4mm
  • Minor touchups in PaintShop Pro and AfterShot Pro