On the solstices at Chicago, how many degrees north or south of due east and due west are the sunrises and sunsets?
Frank Stachyra, Oak Park
Dear Frank, Chicago experiences a sunrise directly in the east twice a year on the spring and fall equinoxes. On those days, the sun also sets directly in the west and if the weather is clear, east-west travel is difficult as the sun’s rays shining directly down the streets make it difficult for drivers to see. The greatest offsets from those directions occurs on the solstices. On the summer solstice around June 21, the sun rises about 33 degrees north of east and sets about 33 degrees north of west. On winter solstice around Dec. 21, the rising sun breaks the horizon about 32 degrees south of east and sets about 32 degrees south of west.