Sunset over Baltimore

The sun sets over Baltimore's Basilica of the Assumption. (Scott Dance | The Baltimore Sun / December 6, 2012)

The sun is already out several fewer seconds each day since last week's solstice, but the time of sunset has continued to shift later -- until Friday.

Thursday's sunset, at 8:37 p.m., is just about the latest of the year. The sunset hovers around 8:37 p.m. for about a week, shifting by a few seconds each night.

We already hit the earliest sunrise, 5:39 a.m. on about June 14.

The solstice, on Friday, brought the most sunshine of the year, with 14 hours, 56 minutes and 19 seconds between sunrise and sunset. That time span is already down to 14 hours, 55 minutes, 44 seconds.

We are now marching onward toward the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, on Dec. 21. The sun will be up 9 hours, 24 minutes and 1 second that day.

The earliest sunset falls about Dec. 7, at 4:43 p.m., while the latest sunrise comes in early January at 7:26 a.m.