Category: Science > Astronomy
Asked by: yuwi-ga
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09 Jun 2006 15:07 PDT
Expires: 09 Jul 2006 15:07 PDT
Question ID: 736809
If you live on the equator side if the tropic, do you get two longest days of the year, as opposed to one on the polar sides of the tropics.
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From: rracecarr-ga on 09 Jun 2006 16:44 PDT
No, still only one longest day. However, there are two days when the sun passes directly overhead, whereas poleward of the tropic, there is only one day when the sun reaches its highest point (which isn't directly overhead).
From: kottekoe-ga on 10 Jun 2006 09:05 PDT
There is a nice plot on Wikipedia, showing a contour plot of day length versus latitude and day of the year: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_length
From: keithpickering-ga on 13 Jun 2006 11:09 PDT
It depends on how you define a "day". (1) If "day" means the time that the center of the solar disk is above the horizon: If you are exactly on the equator, all days are of equal length all year long. At all other places, the longest day is the summer solstice. Note that the June solstice is the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, but it is the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. (2) If "day" means the time during which there is daylight -- including twilight: If you are exactly on the equator, there are two days of maximum daylight (the two solstices). This is because daylight ends when the sun reaches a defined angle below the horizon (usually 6, 12, or 18 degrees). The Sun takes just a bit longer to reach these altitudes on the dates of solstice. If you are not on the equator, the longest day is the summer solstice.
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