When are sunrise and sunset?

Seems a simple enough question, with a simple enough answer.

Today, sunrise in the UK was officially 06:00 and sunset will be 20:29.   Last evening it was a fraction later for the sunset, of course but I looked out of the window and it was not dark in the least, nor did it seem twilight.  It was still day.   What I call sunset would have been 09:10, i.e. when it was no longer possible to see clearly without artificial light.

This explains it all.

7 Responses to “When are sunrise and sunset?”

  1. A K Haart August 20, 2012 at 20:29 Permalink

    20:29 and still quite light here by a west-facing window.

  2. CherryPie August 20, 2012 at 21:57 Permalink

    The sunrise and sunset are at different times depending where you are located within the UK (or anywhere else in the world for that matter).

    The following link gives London, but you can use it to search for your exact location:


  3. Chuckles August 21, 2012 at 09:05 Permalink

    The rabbit hole goes very deep James, don’t go there. It’s a similar question to ‘what is sea-level’

  4. James Higham August 21, 2012 at 09:41 Permalink

    And how long is a piece of string? Probably the best is when you have to turn the light on.

  5. dearieme August 21, 2012 at 10:31 Permalink

    In our Latin class we had a discussion about the difference between “dawn” and “first light”; or perhaps it was between “dawn” and “sunrise”. Anyway, the Romans presumably must have had different terms for them. Presumably we were looking at agricultural or military terminology. Yawn. Latin, eh? We coulda been doing German, or Statistics, or something.

  6. Moggsy August 22, 2012 at 09:49 Permalink

    Sun set is when the sun apparently drops below the notional horizon where you are in the world. Not sure where I heard/read it but I think technically the sun is below the horizon by the time you see it set, because of the distortion of the atmosphere bending the image you are seeing..

    You are right it is still quite light then and clouds can still be sunlit, but I guess you are getting into twilight.

    I think it is important for when a driver legally needs to put their lights on in the UK?


  7. James Higham August 22, 2012 at 09:52 Permalink

    That depends on when the streetlights come on.

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