the technical definition of
a Sunset or Sunrise?
How is it determined at what time the sun sets or rises?
The definitions are
sunrise is defined as occurring when
the top of the sun appears on a sea-level
sunset occurs when the top of the sun
goes just below the sea-level horizon.
how do scientists determine the times? No, they do not send
out on a ladder and have them crane their necks.
No observation is involved
at alljust math.
crunching the numbers based on the orbit of the Earth around
the Sun, the
sunrise and sunset times can be calculated long in
advance. Richard Williams,
a meteorologist at the National Weather
Service, explains that published
times are only approximations of
what we observe with our naked eyes:
time of sunrise and sunset varies with day of the year,
latitude, and longitude.
The published sunrise and sunset times
are calculated without regard to surrounding
terrain. That is, all
computations are made for a sea-level horizon, even
mountainous areas. Thus the actual time of sunrise at a particular
location may vary considerably from the "official" times.
Is there natural light before sunrise and after sunset?
When we observe sunset,
the Sun has already gone below the
horizon. The Earth's atmosphere "bends"
the Sun's rays and delays
the sunset by about three minutes. Likewise with
sunrise, the sun
makes its first appearance before it would on a planet with
no atmosphere. We actually get five to ten minutes of
extra sunlight due to
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