First Day of Fall Has 12 Hours of Daylight… Nope!

Throw away everything you learned in earth science class. That is, if your teacher told you that the equinox has exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. If you look at Oklahoma City’s stats for today, sunrise is at 7:19am and sunset is at 7:26 pm. Thus, 12 hours and 7 minutes of daylight. How could this be? Did the laws of science change since you went to class? Nope… So, what’s going on here?

Well, the sunrise and sunset times are determined by the time the sun first appears over the horizon. Remember that the suns light is bent, giving the illusion that the sun is already above or below the horizon when it’s really not. Thus, the reason why you may not have exactly 12 hours of sunlight. Other factors include the terrain. Take Denver,Colorado. The east is flat, the west is filled with mountains. You may be able to see the sunrise above the horizon since you’re looking across the flat plains, but to the west, you have to battle the mountains. The sun may still be “up”, but it’s tucked behind the mountains.

For Oklahoma City, our “equinox” won’t really occur until September 25th, 2 days from now.

Astronomy is confusing isn’t it?



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