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
Though 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.