The Day and Night World Map shows the border between day and night on a world map for any date and time. It includes the twilight phases and the positions of the Sun and the Moon.

What Does the Day and Night World Map Show?

The world map

The world map shows the distribution of daylight, night, and the three phases of twilight, as well as the position of Sun and Moon. See the map legend for an explanation of the symbols and shadings shown on the map.

By default, it shows the current situation at the time you load the page. If you would like to select a different point in time,

  • click on the Jump to links to move a certain amount of time forward or back in time;
  • click on the seasons links (e.g. March equinox) to select one of the astronomical seasons;
  • or use the fields under Find the Sun at Another Time in a Location to enter any date and time. The At Location field determines to which time zone the date and time fields should refer.

The selected date and time are displayed at the bottom of the map, both in UTC and in the local time of your home location.

Problems? See “How do I change my home location?” in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section below.

Position of the Sun

The Sun symbol in the map shows the Sun's position at the selected date and time. The Position of the Sun section below the map provides more details:

  • The geographical coordinates where the Sun appears in the zenith position (directly overhead).
  • The speed at which the place where the Sun appears in the zenith position is moving across the surface of the Earth.
  • The table displays information about the Sun's position 1 minute, 1 hour, and 24 hours from the selected point in time:
    • Longitude Difference shows how much the Sun will have moved west or east in Degrees of longitude and in terms of Distance across the Earth's surface. Note that the distance displayed here applies only to the Sun's movements along the east-west axis. The total distance is shown in the column on the right. The Direction column shows in which direction the zenith position will have moved after the respective amount of time.
    • Latitude Difference shows the same as Longitude Difference, but for the south-north axis.
    • Total Distance shows the actual distance the Sun's zenith position will have moved across the Earth's surface.

Problems? See “Why does it say that the Sun or Moon moves east?” in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section below.

Position of the Moon

The Moon symbol in the map shows the Moon's position at the selected date and time. The Position of the Moon section below the map provides more details:

  • The geographical coordinates where the Moon appears in the zenith position (directly overhead).
  • The speed at which the place where the Moon appears in the zenith position is moving across the surface of the Earth.
  • The table displays information about the Moon's position 1 minute, 1 hour, and 24 hours from the selected point in time:
    • Longitude Difference shows how much the Moon will have moved west or east in Degrees of longitude and in terms of Distance across the Earth's surface. Note that the distance displayed here applies only to the Moon's movements along the east-west axis. The total distance is shown in the column on the right. The Direction column shows in which direction the zenith position will have moved after the respective amount of time.
    • Latitude Difference shows the same as Longitude Difference, but for the south-north axis.
    • Total Distance shows the actual distance the Moon's zenith position will have moved across the Earth's surface.

Problems? See “Why does it say that the Sun or Moon moves east?” in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section below.

Locations With the Sun Near Its Zenith

This section provides an overview of locations where the Sun appears in or near the zenith position (directly overhead) at the selected time and date.

  • Local Time shows the corresponding local time in each location.
  • Distance shows each location's distance from the place where the Sun appears in the zenith position.
  • Direction indicates in which direction you would have to travel to get from the place where the Sun appears in the zenith position to the respective location in the list.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it possible to fast forward or rewind?

The map is static and shows the situation at the time you loaded the page or for the selected point in time. While it is not possible to continuously fast forward or rewind, you can use the Jump to links below the map to move a certain amount of time forward or back in time.

What does zenith mean?

It's the location in the sky that is directly above you. Find more information here.

Does the Moon symbol show lunar eclipses?

Yes, if you select the date and time of a lunar eclipse, the Moon symbol shows the Earth's shadow on the Moon. Here's an example.

Why does it say that the Sun or Moon moves east?

Sometimes, the Direction column in the table under Position of the Sun and Position of the Moon shows that the Sun or Moon have moved east. This may be confusing since the Earth's rotation always causes both celestial bodies to constantly move west from our perspective.

However, this only happens in the 24 hours row which displays the difference in the Sun's or Moon's zenith position between the selected point in time and 24 hours after it. In that amount of time, the Sun and Moon have moved, from our perspective, so far west that they have come full circle. However, during some parts of the year, the Sun's position doesn't quite complete a full circle in 24 hours, so it ends up a little farther east than on the day before.

Meanwhile, the Moon moves in the same direction as the rotation of the Earth during the course of a lunar month, so it always ends up a little farther east than 24 hours before.

How do I change my home location?

Go to My Location, enter a location, and click Save.

Are the headings based on true north or magnetic north?

All headings are based on true north.

Why are the date fields in the wrong order?

You can change the order of the Day, Month, and Year fields by selecting a different Short Date format in My Units.

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.

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.

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 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.

I've heard rumors. Is the map really based on a flat Earth model?

No. The Earth is a globe.

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

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

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