Sunrise. Sunset.

All stunningly gorgeous photos taken by SoundBeacher. SB copy as well. [Round of applause.]

The first four photos are of the sunrise over Old Greenwich CT.


Earlier this week I noticed that the sunrise was at 7:03 and the sunset was at 7:02. I wanted to get up early to get a photo of the sunrise, and then capture the sunset too. Well, a tremendous thunderstorm blew in at sunset so it took a few days to get that setting sun photos. Bit I did.

Sunrise and sunset are exactly 12 hours apart
At the equinox, all latitudes receive nearly equal amounts of daylight and darkness. ( equinox means “equal night” in Latin, both of Earth’s hemispheres get a bit more than 12 hours of daylight. Take Washington, D.C., for example: On March 16 — four days before the equinox — sunrise and sunset were exactly 12 hours apart. Yet by March 20, the sun is already up for 12 hours and 9 minutes.

There are two reasons for this. One is atmospheric refraction. This optical phenomenon bends the sun’s light as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere and causes the sun to appear slightly higher in the sky than it actually is.

The other is how we define sunrise and sunset. The sun appears as a disk, not a single point. Sunrise is defined as the moment the sun’s upper edge appears on the horizon, while sunset doesn’t occur until the sun’s upper edge disappears from the horizon. Together, these factors add about ten minutes of daylight to the equinox, depending on one’s distance from the equator.

Why, then, is the spring equinox not on March 16 or 17, when we get exactly 12 hours of daylight? First, the date with exactly 12 hours from sunrise to sunset varies with distance from the equator. Second, the equinox occurs when the sun appears directly overhead along Earth’s equator, at zero degrees latitude, and that happens around March 20.



The next three are sunsets.


The morning sunrise had two other photographers with much better and sophisticated cameras than mine. I’ll include a photo of them too, since I sort of was spying on them!


Oh and if anyone is interested there is a great web site that tells you exactly how good a sunset or sunrise you will have anywhere in the USA.  It’s very helpful and super cool SunsetWx website.

Sound Beacher included a YT video conducted by Dudamel that would have been perfect to embed into the photos or post as the background to the whole post, but I don’t know how to do that, so it sits here at the bottom looking longingly for a more tech savvy blogger to figure out a way to make this float like a butterfly and not sting like a luddite bee.


9 thoughts on “Sunrise. Sunset.

  1. How fitting to post the sunrise photos on Palm Sunday as we Christians celebrate the day Jesus entered Jerusalem. Passion Sunday is a more appropriate name to your photos SB – every one is worthy of celebration. Thanks.

  2. Lovely photographs and explanation! How about trying to capture a sunset “green flash” for us?

  3. you have a great eye SoundBeacher and patience to wait for the right moment. what kind of camera are you using?


  4. Thanks very much. Yes, Palm Sunday today- as we kick off Holy Week.
    I’ve not see the Green Flash, and I thought you had to be down in Captiva Island to see it,usually while drinking at the Mucky Duck!
    It was a beautiful morning for waiting and a lovely evening too. It’s just so magical as the colors keep changing and the drama of the sky. My camera is an old one a SONY DSC-HX5V. I did use a tripod for the sunset.
    Thanks for letting me share them EOS!

  5. Wonderful work, SB-

    My mother lived in Florida facing the western horizon over the Gulf for 36 years, and watch the sun set every night she could. She never saw the “green flash.” Neither have I. It is supposed to be about 3 minutes after the sun sinks below the horizon.

    The equinox event is the moment the sun crosses the equator, and therefore has a declination of zero, corresponding with latitude zero.

  6. Happy Palm Sunday!

    Truly wonderfully w-i-d-e shots SoundB!!!!

    Thanks for getting out there in the dark🌚
    and back for the dusk.

    Funny. Likely be snowing on the beach tomorrow.

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