How Long Does It Take To Get Dark After Sunset

Knowing the exact time when it is dark is equally essential for astronomers and photographers. Darkness and clear skies are as important to stargazing as the golden hour for perfect photography.Read: How long it takes to get dark after sunset To understand how long it takes to get dark can be a lot more complicated than you think, and the topic depends on a range of factors such as distance to the Equator, degree of high and different seasons. In the vicinity of the equator, darkness forms 20 or 30 minutes after sunset, while in the north it takes 70 to 100 minutes until nightfall.

Different types of Twilight


Twilight is the time when sunlight is still visible, even though the Sun is below the horizon. There is a morning sunset and an evening one, both of which have three distinctive phases: civil twilight, nautical twilight, and astronomical twilight. Let’s see what every stage long does it take to get dark after sunset 1

Civil Twilight

Civil twilight is the period that begins at dusk and lasts until the center of the Sun is 6º below the horizon. During this phase, objects are still visible on the ground and no artificial lights are needed if there is no fog. Astronomy lovers can easily spot Mercury and Venus during this golden long does it take to get dark after sunset 2This is also the time when photographers take great pictures without artificial light. Civilian twilight is known as the “golden hour” or “magic hour”. During this time, the diffraction of sunlight causes the white light to change to red, and the clouds take on successive colors of yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, and blue.

Nautical Twilight

This phase begins when the geometric center of the Sun lies between 6º and 12º below the horizon. During this time, most of the stars were visible to the naked eye. Photographers can still take pictures, but these photos will be dark and blurry. The term “nautical knots” refers to sailors who were able to guide themselves past famous stars and the horizon was still visible. Read more: how to open a manhole long does it take to get dark after sunset 3Nautical twilight is the perfect time to observe the Moon’s shadow, which is usually invisible because it is left in the Sun’s shadow. During this twilight period, the alignment of the Earth and the Sun allows the Sun’s rays from the Earth to reflect back to the Moon (this phenomenon is known as Earthshine). Although the light of the aurora can be very dim at this point, it is worth observing and deciding on the best location for the camera or telescope.

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Astronomical Twilight

Astronomical twilight begins when the center of the Sun reaches 12º and lasts until 18º. After this period, the real night begins, although these two stages are very similar to some newcomers. However, the average photographer cannot take good pictures unless they target a well-lit city. It is almost impossible to distinguish objects and cannot see colors. Aurora Borealis is starting to show a beautiful shiny green color and although the perfect time to enjoy it is during the dark period, you can take some lovely photos right long does it take to get dark after sunset 4Aurora Borealis will be bluish while green turns emerald and red turns purple.

True night time

It can be relatively easy to understand what night is. Once all the twilight phases pass, the night really begins. Basically, night is pure darkness, a time when there is no light pollution from the Sun. The best stargazing experience is at night and an astronomer should wait until he can’t see the Sun’s fading light on the horizon. horizon. One important thing to note is the fact that nighttime is influenced by a number of factors such as location in relation to the equator and the seasons of the long does it take to get dark 5 . after sunsetNight is the perfect time to observe the sky and its wonders. Astrophotography enthusiasts will capture amazing images of the Milky Way, Aurora Borealis and other celestial phenomena.

Near Equator and Location

Read more: how to keep bees out of a chimney One of the most important factors affecting the length of the night is latitude. People closer to the equator (latitude 0º) will notice that night comes much faster. Closer to the poles, the Sun has a softer tilt through the sky; Therefore, it will take longer when it is dark. In addition to location near the equator, another factor to consider is altitude. After that, sunsets in the high mountains can be observed when the horizon is lower. An interesting phenomenon is also noticed in the mountainous area: double twilight. The sun disappeared behind one part of the mountain only to reappear over another before the final set. The same thing happens in cities with really tall buildings. However, the phenomenon only lasted 3 minutes.

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During the year, the Earth changes position around the Sun, which affects the length of night time. However, for most areas, the difference is negligible (just a few minutes), but it gets more interesting as you go up North. . This is happening because the Sun never goes above 6º below the horizon. This phenomenon is known as the Midnight Sun, and it is quite necessary for locals and not only. However, it is not completely dark everywhere in the polar circle but only in regions within 5.5º of the poles and when the Moon is below the horizon. The rest only have more sunsets than the equatorial regions.

Solstice and Equinox

Twice a year, day equals night. These events are called equinoxes, and they occur when the center of the Sun is directly above the equator. During these events, the refraction of sunlight causes the Sun to be seen above the horizon when it is actually below the horizon.How long does it take to get dark after sunset 6Equinoxes occur on September 20, the day shortens later, and March 23, when the length of the days increases. These events occur when the tilt of the Earth’s axis relative to the Sun is at its maximum. The sun appears to be at its highest point in the sky.

So How Long After Sunset?

In short, it takes about 70 to 140 minutes for the Sun to pass 18º below the horizon and reach the night phase. However, closer to the equator, the timeframe would be around 23 minutes. .

  • Quito, Ecuador – true night – 19:33 (+68 minutes)
  • Kansas, USA – true night – 21:02 (+90 minutes)
  • Anchorage Alaska, USA – true night – 22:53 (+155 min)

Determining sunset times for a particular area can be difficult, but many websites and apps are designed to help. So, before you head out to stargaze, you might want to check out one of the reliable sources that will give you the exact time for the right time to start gazing at the sky.

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Do you know?

  • Pollution is causing – Beautiful sunset colors. Local pollution in large cities can cause red sunsets. However, if the level of fog is too high, the entire celestial body will be obscured.
  • Red sunset forecast stormy weather. This is because red wavelengths pass through the atmosphere while shorter wavelengths like blue are scattered by dust particles and moisture.
  • The Norwegian city of Tromso, located more than 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, experiences extreme light changes between the seasons. During winter, from November to January, the Sun remains below the horizon, and this period is known as Polar Night. Due to the high altitude, twilight lasts longer in March and September, so there is practically no night.
  • The summer solstice occurs on all the planets in our solar system. For example, on Uranus, the summer solstice occurs every 84 years.
  • An interesting phenomenon takes place every summer solstice in northern Iceland. It’s the only place outside the Arctic Circle where you can watch the Sun never set. If you look at the horizon, you will see the Sun hovering over the sea but not below the horizon.
  • At the Tropic of Cancer (23.43659º north from the equator), during the summer solstice, around noon, no darkness could be observed. This happened because, at the time, the Sun was at a 90º angle to the Earth.


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