Q:

How would you describe a sunset?

A:

Quick Answer

A sunset occurs when the sun descends below the horizon and the light of the day slowly fades. This happens at different times depending on where you are in the world, the particular time of the year and the rotation of the earth. Regardless of when it happens, the sun setting usually marks the end of the day and the beginning of the night.

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Full Answer

Sunsets are typically very beautiful and scenic events, worthy of marveling and cherishing. They can sometimes even look like paintings or other pieces of art - so much so that people have made careers out of capturing and studying their essence.

When the sun sets, the colors of the sky change from what is normally a light blue, gray or white cloudy sky to darker hues of blue or shades of red, orange, violet and yellow. Scientists say the lower positioning of the sun on the horizon, combined with the molecules and particles in the atmosphere, affect the way and direction light is reflected. When the phenomenon of light rays scattering happens, it results in colorful sunsets. The details of colors and designs on the sky are determined by the wavelength of the light and the size of the particles.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can you calculate when the sunset will occur?

    A:

    Calculate when the sunset will occur using the sunrise and sunset calculator on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association website. Two versions of the calculator are available through NOAA, with the newer one being more user-friendly.

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  • Q:

    How long does a sunset last?

    A:

    The exact duration of a sunset is difficult to determine exactly; the exact time will vary by geographical location and season. The very concept of a sunset is itself difficult to pin down. Theoretically speaking, the sun is in the process of setting immediately after it reaches its highest point in the sky.

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  • Q:

    What are moonrise and moonset tables?

    A:

    Moonrise and moonset tables display the time of day that the moon rises above the horizon and sets below the horizon relative to a particular location over a range of dates. Some cells on a moonrise and moonset table are blank because the moon does not always rise or set on a given date. Some tables display additional data, such as the moon's phase, illumination and distance from Earth on each date listed.

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  • Q:

    How are tides formed?

    A:

    Tides are formed by a combination of gravitational attraction from the moon and the sun, as well as the centrifugal force generated by the rotation of the Earth. The position of both celestial bodies affects the surface height of the tides as water is gravitationally pulled upwards relative to their positions.

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