December 7 marks the earliest sunset of the year. (December 21 is the shortest day and January 4, 2010 is the latest sunrise, but that oddness is another story).
The natural clock time (aka Local Mean Time) for sunset in Indianapolis is 4:35 pm. This would be our sunset time today if Indianapolis had happened to end up at the middle of a time zone like Philadelphia or Peoria did.
The table below compares sunrise time today in Indianapolis with other United States cities located in their geographically-correct time zone.
You can see that Indy sticks out like a sore thumb on eastern time, but will be back in with the rest of the pack again if or when Indiana goes back to central time.
Sunset times on Monday, 7 December 2009
5:20, Indianapolis (eastern time)
4:35, Philadelphia (middle of eastern time zone)
4:35, Denver (middle of mountain time zone)
4:35, Reno (middle of Pacific time zone)
4:32, Nashville TN (nearly due south of Indy)
4:31, Peoria (middle of central time zone)
4:28, New York City
4:26, Las Vegas
4:20, Indianapolis (if returned back to central time)
3:54, Bangor, Maine