It can be disheartening watching the weather become cold and miserable.

However, one of my favourite things about winter is being able to watch the Sun rise every morning.

The Earth’s axis is tilted, so one side of the Earth gets more sunlight than the other. The side that gets more sunlight shifts as the Earth orbits the Sun. After the Summer Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere begins tilting away from the Sun, so the days get shorter and shorter until the Winter Solstice, which is the day with the least hours of sunlight in the year. Because the sun usually rises later in winter, we’re more likely to be awake to see the Sun rise.

The sun is low in the sky when it begins to rise, so sunlight passes through more air at sunrise (and sunset) than at other times during the day. There are more molecules in the air to scatter short-wavelength colours like blue and violet away from our line of sight, so we often see the yellow, orange and red in the sky when the Sun rises and sets.

Whilst the sunrise is beautiful, it also brings several other benefits. The Sun radiates feelings of peace and gratitude and can also reduce anxiety. If you go outside to watch the Sun rise, then you also produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps regulate dopamine production in the brain, and low levels of it can increase the risk of serotonin depletion and depression.

It’s clear that the sun has many advantages. Watching the Sun rise is a great way to start your day, even if you just watch it from the window.