Questions to Start the New Year

The graphic is “Father Time and Baby New Year” from Frolic & Fun (author unknown), published in 1897. Father Time was one of the earliest New Year icons among dozens now used by the media. I needed some kind of graphic for today’s post, and this one seemed on-topic.

First, Happy New Year to my readers! This time of year, every year, I get a lot of the same questions. So I thought I’d present you with a “year-end FAQ” of sorts showcasing those common queries. As a bonus, I get a brief vacation from writing over the holidays. The six posts I selected are all reprints.

So pick and choose what interests you, or settle in and read them all — if you haven’t already. I bid you peace and health for the holidays and beyond. May all your night lights be billions of miles away.

Why the Year Starts on January 1st: This is a frequently asked question. The answer is simple.
Why There Are Leap Years
: Why do some years (like 2024) have 366 days and others (like 2023) have 365 days?

Leap Seconds: On December 31 scientists add “leap seconds” to the official time. Why do they do that?
The Winter Solstice: It happened in December, but was there anything to actually see when it happened?
Buying and Naming Your Own Star: Did someone buy you a star for Christmas? Is this for real? Is it legal?
Earth at Perihelion: You may have heard Earth will reach perihelion on January 3-4. So what?

Next Week in Sky Lights ⇒ Climate Science 101

Q&A: Santa's Sleigh Sighted?
Climate Science 101