How to Use: Sun Calculator

The Sun Calculator shows the times of sunrise and sunset, twilight, and solar noon, as well as the Sun's direction and distance for any city and year.

What Does the Sunrise & Sunset Page Show?

Daylight

Today's times of sunrise and sunset and the length of the current day are displayed below the Sun icon near the top of the page. The day length is defined as the time span between sunrise and sunset.

Problems? See “How are sunrise and sunset defined?” in the FAQ section below.

Current Sun position and distance

The area near the top of the page also includes information about the current position of the Sun from the perspective of the selected city. This updates in real-time, so it always shows the current situation.

• Sun Direction shows the direction (north, east, south, or west) of the Sun in three different formats:
1. The arrow shows the Sun's direction as it would show on a standard map, where upwards means north, right means east, down is south, and left is west.
2. The number next to the arrow provides the same information as an azimuth angle. As on a compass, the azimuth is measured in degrees, with 360 in a full circle, counted in a clockwise direction from north. North has an azimuth value of 0 degrees, east is 90 degrees, south is 180 degrees, and west is 270 degrees.
3. The abbreviation provides a verbal indication of the approximate direction. Here, N means north, E means east, S means south, and W means west. So, for example, SSW is south-southwest.
Note: The direction is based on true north, not magnetic north.
• Sun Altitude is the vertical angle the Sun makes with the horizon. It shows how high the Sun appears in the sky or how far it is below the horizon.
• Sun Distance states the current distance between the Earth and the Sun.

Problems? See “The distance is shown in the wrong format. How do I change to miles or kilometers?” in the FAQ section below.

Next equinox or solstice

The Next Equinox or Next Solstice field shows the local date and time of the start of the next astronomical season. Click on the date and time to see the dates and times for other seasons.

Sunrise and Sunset Today

The area near the top of the page also includes the local time and direction of today's sunrise and sunset. See “Current Sun position and distance” above to learn about the meaning of the arrows and degrees.

Change city

Use the search field to open the Sunrise & Sunset Page for a different place or country. The search supports ZIP/postal codes for several countries, including the United States and Canada.

You can also enter geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) to find Sun times for any place on Earth.

Problems? See “The city search lists several places with the same name. Which is the one I'm looking for?” in the FAQ section below.

Time/General, Weather, Time Zone, DST, and Sun & Moon tabs

Use the navigation tabs next to the search field to access the General City Page (Time/General tab) or other sub-pages dedicated to specific topics, such as Weather, Time Zone, and DST Changes in the city.

Yearly Sun Graph

The Yearly Sun Graph illustrates the amount of daylight the selected location receives throughout the year. It also shows the three stages of twilight that occur between day and night.

• The graph's vertical axis (y-axis) defines the time of day, while the horizontal axis (x-axis) represents the time of year. The graph encompasses one whole year, each day being represented by a thin vertical slice.
• The blue shadings in the graph symbolize day, night, and three twilight phases. See the legend below the graph for more details.
• The distribution of daylight and twilight on the selected date is displayed in more detail below the graph.
• The graph defaults to the current date. To select a different date, hover your mouse over it and move the white vertical line to a date of your choice. Click on the graph to lock it on the date currently shown. Click again to unlock.
• The red horizontal line represents solar noon, which is the moment the Sun crosses the local meridian (longitude) and reaches its highest position in the sky.
• The yellow horizontal line is solar midnight. It marks the moment when the Sun reaches the lowest position below the horizon.

If the selected location changes to and from Daylight Saving Time (DST) during the year, the change is marked with a green vertical line in the graph. Beyond these green lines, the day, night and twilight phases shift up or down to reflect the jump in civil time in relation to solar time caused by the DST switch.

Problems? See “Why does the graph look like it's cut into several pieces?” in the FAQ section below.

Sunrise and sunset table

The main body of the page shows a table with Sun times and other Sun data for the selected location for a month at a time. Use the drop-down menus above the table or the links below the table to select a different month. Click on a table row to see a graph showing the Sun's position throughout the selected day (see “Graph showing Sun position at any point in time” for more information).

• Date: Each row in the table shows Sun information for a specific date, which is displayed in the column on the left.
• Sunrise/Sunset: The next two columns show the local times of sunrise and sunset for each date in the selected month. This takes into account all Daylight Saving Time (DST) clock changes. It also includes the direction of the sunrise or sunset as an arrow and in degrees.
Problems? See “Why does the Sun rise later and set earlier than stated?”, “Does the Sun Calculator take refraction into account?”, “How are sunrise and sunset defined?”, and “What do the arrows mean?” in the FAQ section below.
• Daylength shows the time span between sunrise and sunset for each date (Length column) and its difference in relation to the previous day (Difference column). The duration is shown in the hh:mm:ss format where hh stands for hours, mm for minutes, and ss for seconds. The difference is shown in minutes and seconds, with a plus sign (+) if this day is longer than the previous day and a minus sign (−) if it is shorter than the previous day.
• Astronomical Twilight, Nautical Twilight, and Civil Twilight list the start and end times for the three stages of twilight. Note that they are not arranged chronologically. The Start columns refer to the beginning of each phase in the morning, while the End columns show the times they end in the evening.
Problems? See “Do the twilight phases really last all day?” in the FAQ section below.
• Solar Noon: The two columns on the right refer to solar noon, the instant when the Sun passes the meridian (longitude) of the selected location. This is also the moment when it reaches its highest position in the sky and appears either due north, due south, or directly overhead.
• Time includes both the local time and the Sun's maximum altitude of the day, which it reaches that moment. The altitude is the vertical angular distance between the horizon and the center of the Sun's disk. It indicates how high the Sun appears in the sky. At 0 degrees, the Sun's center is on the horizon, at 90 degrees, it is in the zenith position directly overhead.
• The last column (Mil. ...) shows the Sun's distance from Earth at the moment of solar noon—more specifically, the distance between the center of the Earth to the center of the Sun. Subtract 660,000 kilometers or 410,104 miles to get the approximate distance between the surfaces of the two bodies. The distance varies because Earth's orbit is elliptical rather than circular. The Sun is closest on perihelion, around January 3, and most distant on aphelion, around July 5. The mean distance is 149,600,000 kilometers or 92,960,000 miles.

Graph showing Sun position at any point in time

Click on a row in the table to see a graph showing how the Sun's position changes throughout the selected day. The graph defaults to the current time. Move your mouse over the graph to select a different time of day.

The box on the right shows the following data for the selected time:

• Altitude: the Sun's altitude is the vertical angle the Sun makes with the horizon. At 0 degrees, the Sun's center is on the horizon, at 90 degrees, it is in the zenith position directly overhead; negative values mean that the center of the Sun is below the horizon. At sunrise and sunset, when the upper edge of the Sun's disk touches the horizon, its center is about 0.25 degrees below the horizon.
• Heading: the Sun's azimuth refers to its cardinal direction. The azimuth is measured in degrees, with 360 in a full circle, counted in a clockwise direction from north. North has an azimuth value of 0 degrees, east is 90 degrees, south is 180 degrees, and west is 270 degrees.
• Position: indicates if it is day, night, or one of the three stages of twilight at the selected time.

FAQ: Troubleshooting

Why does the Sun rise later and set earlier than stated?

Our calculations assume a flat horizon, which is at the same altitude as the observer. This means that the time and direction of sunrise/sunset differs if there are mountains or other obstacles in the way.

Why does the graph look like it's cut into several pieces?

Because of Daylight Saving Time (DST) or other time changes. A clock change causes the timings of sunrise, sunset, and twilight to shift in relation to civil time. This is reflected in the Yearly Sun Graph. It may look like the graph is cut into several pieces, but it's not an error.

Why is the latest sunrise not on the shortest day?

Neither the latest sunrise nor the earliest sunset occurs on the day of the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year. The same is true for the longest day of the year: the earliest sunrise occurs a few days before, and the latest sunset a few days after the summer solstice.

The reason is the fact that the difference between apparent solar time and mean solar time changes in the course of a year. You will find more information about this phenomenon here.

The time has the wrong format. How do I change between the 24-hour and AM/PM clock?

Our system supports both 24-hour and 12-hour (am/pm) clock formats. To change the format, please go to My Units and make a selection in the Time Format drop-down, and click Save Settings.

The distance is shown in the wrong format. How do I change to miles or kilometers?

To change the distance unit, go to My Units and make a selection in the Distance/Visibility menu.

How do I use the NEW map location picker? (BETA)

To use our new map location picker, click on the search field and then on Open Map. To choose your location, click on the map and click Select. Clicking Cancel closes the window.

You can use the search field to find your location, and then refine it by clicking on the map to get closer to your desired location. Clicking the target icon will take you to the location you have customized in the settings.

Using the zoom:

• The plus and minus symbols on the map zoom it in and out.
• You can move the map around in the window by clicking and holding your mouse button. If you are on a mobile or tablet, you move the map by holding your finger down.
• Click the mouse button or tap your finger to drop a pin on your desired location. If you have the map zoomed out, it will snap to the nearest location. Zooming right in will give you the coordinates of the location.

We appreciate your feedback! The map location picker is a BETA service, so it is still under development. If you find anything wrong or have suggestions to improve it, please let us know.

Why isn't my town included?

Our database of locations includes thousands of cities worldwide, and we now offer an additional 6 million places via the GeoNames database. If you still don't find your town, please let us know, and we will consider adding it.

The city search lists several places with the same name. Which is the one I'm looking for?

When you type the location into the search field and it suggests several places by the same name, first have a look at the country flag and the description in parentheses to identify the city you are looking for. If it is still unclear, click on one of the locations and check the geographical position on the map or click on the Time/General tab and check the longitude/latitude information shown near the top of the page.

FAQ: General Info & Instructions

How do I select a different month?

To see the Sun times table for a different month, please use the drop-down menus above the table or the links below it.

Does the Sun Calculator take refraction into account?

Yes, all Sun times take into account the fact that the Earth's atmosphere refracts the incoming light from the Sun in such a way that the Sun is visible longer than it would be without an atmosphere.

The amount of refraction depends on atmospheric pressure and temperature. Our calculations use the standard atmospheric pressure of 101.325 pascals (Pa) or 0.0147 pounds per square inch (psi) at a temperature of 15°C or 59°F. A higher atmospheric pressure or a lower temperature means more refraction. If that is the case, the sunrise occurs earlier and the sunset later. In most cases, however, refraction affects the rising and setting times by less than a minute. Near the North Pole and the South Pole, its impact may be a little larger because temperatures are low and the Sun traverses the horizon at a comparatively shallow angle.

Do the twilight phases really last all day?

No. In most locations on Earth, with the exception of the polar regions, each of the three stages of twilight occurs once in the morning and once in the evening. For the sake of brevity, the Sun table lists only their start times in the morning and their end times in the evening. While this may be confusing at first, it provides all the necessary information. For example, the end of astronomical twilight in the morning is not explicitly stated, but it coincides with the beginning of nautical twilight; similarly, morning civil twilight ends at sunrise.

To see all phases in chronological order, please use the Yearly Sun Graph above the table. If you'd rather stick with the table, the chronological reading order is:

1. Astronomical twilight start
2. Nautical twilight start
3. Civil twilight start
4. Sunrise
5. Solar Noon
6. Sunset
7. Civil twilight end
8. Nautical twilight end
9. Astronomical twilight end

How are sunrise and sunset defined?

Both sunrise and sunset are the moments when the upper edge of the Sun's disk touches the horizon.

Do you offer this information for any place on Earth?

Yes, you can look up any location by entering geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) into the search field.

Please use one of the following formats:

• Degrees and minutes, e.g., 40.42N 73.59W
• Decimal format, e.g., 40.71 -73.98

How do I search by coordinates (latitude and longitude)?

You can look up any location on Earth by entering geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) into the search field.

Please use one of the following formats:

• Degrees and minutes, e.g., 40.42N 73.59W
• Decimal format, e.g., 40.71 -73.98

What do the arrows mean?

The arrows next to Sun Direction and in the table indicate the cardinal direction (azimuth) of the Sun. As on a standard map, an upward pointing arrow means north, right means east, down is south, and left is west.

What does “Up all day” and “Down all day” mean?

In the polar regions, the Sun may not set during the summer (midnight Sun) and it may not rise in the winter (polar night). When that is the case, the Sunrise/Sunset column shows Up all day or Down all day.

Also, some of the other columns may be empty since they don't apply under these circumstances.

What does “Rest of night” mean?

In and around the polar regions, the Sun may not sink lower than 18° below the horizon during the summer, causing all-night twilight. When that is the case, Rest of night is shown in one of the twilight columns, while other twilight columns may remain empty since they don't apply under these circumstances.

Why are some table cells empty?

The table includes the different stages of the Sun's daily movements that can be experienced in the vast majority of locations on Earth. However, some of them don't apply to the polar regions and areas just outside the polar circles. In the polar regions, the Sun may not set during the summer (midnight Sun) and it may not rise in the winter (polar night), and when that is the case, the table does not display sunrise and sunset times.

What does meridian mean?

A location's meridian is its longitude, a line that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole, crossing the selected location. The moment when the Sun or the Moon crosses a location's meridian marks the instant when they reach the highest position in the sky, appearing either due south, due north, or directly overhead. For the Sun, it is the moment of solar noon.

What does Astronomical/Nautical/Civil Twilight mean?

Astronomers divide twilight into three different phases, which are defined by the Sun's altitude below the horizon. You will find each stage explained here.

Can I use ZIP or other postal codes to search for a city?

Yes, our city search engine supports ZIP and postal codes for the United States (5-digit ZIP codes only), Canada (first 3 letters/digits only), Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Norway.

How accurate is your Sun & Moon information?

All of the information presented on our Sun and Moon pages is based on algorithms and data from the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) and NASA, which we have optimized to efficiently calculate accurate Sun and Moon times. The algorithms have been tested countless times and are monitored periodically to ensure continued accuracy.

However, some factors may influence the apparent movements of the Sun and the Moon that cannot be controlled. For example, while we consider refraction, the extent of its effect depends on atmospheric pressure and temperature. This means our times for sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset may be off by a few seconds if the pressure or temperature greatly deviates from the average values on which we base our calculations (pressure: 101.325 pascals or 0.0147 pounds per square inch (psi), and temperature: 15°C or 59°F).

Please note that our calculations assume a flat horizon, which is at the same altitude as the observer. This means the time and direction of sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset may differ if there are mountains or other obstacles in the way.

How does your algorithm work? Can you help me program my own?

We are a small team with very extensive websites to manage, so, unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to share detailed information about our algorithms or provide programming help.

Where can I find more information about the site and its services?

The General FAQ Page answers your questions about timeanddate.com, our services, site-wide settings, customization options, advertising opportunities, and copyright policies.