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Knowing the exact time when it it s okay dark is equally necessary for astronomers and photographers. Darkness and clear sky are really important because that stargazing together a gold hour for perfect photography.

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To understand just how long it takes to get dark can be much more facility than you could think, and the topic relies on a collection of determinants like street to Equator, altitudes, and different seasons. 

In the equator’s proximity, the dark installs 20 or 30 minute after sunset, while increase north, it takes between 70 and 100 minutes till the night settles. 

The Different varieties of Twilight 

Twilight is the duration of time when the sunlight is still visible, although the sun is below the horizon. There is a morning twilight and likewise an evening one, both having three distinctive phases: civil twilight, nautical twilight, and astronomical twilight. 

Each among these phases has its details flavor and different endure for astronomers and also photographers. Let’s watch what every step means. 


Civil Twilight

The civil twilight is the phase that begins at sunset and also lasts until the facility of the sun is at 6º listed below the horizon. During this phase, the objects room still visible on the ground, and artificial lights are not required if a fog is absent. The astronomers can conveniently spot Mercury and Venus during this golden hour.


This is additionally the time when photographers capture amazing shots without any type of artificial light. The polite twilight is well-known as the “golden hour” or “magic hour.” throughout this duration of time, the diffraction of the solar light makes the white light adjust to reds, and also the clouds take on a continually manner distinct yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, and also blue colors.

Nautical Twilight

This phase starts as soon as the geometric facility of the sunlight is at between 6º and 12º below the horizon. During this time, the majority of the stars room visible come the naked eye. Photographers space still may be to take it shots, yet these will certainly be dark and blurry.The ax “nautical” describes sailors who can guide themselves via well-known stars and also the still visible horizon.


The nautical twilight is the perfect time to observe the dark next of the Moon, which commonly cannot it is in seen due to the fact that it is left in the zero of the Sun. Throughout this twilight phase, Earth and also Sun’s alignment permits the sun rays to be reflected off the planet onto the Moon (this phenomenon is known as Earthshine).

Also, the nautical twilight is perfect for starting to clock the aurora borealis. Back the aurora’s lights can be really faint in ~ this point, it precious observing and also decide on the ideal position because that the camera or telescope. 

Astronomical Twilight

The huge twilight starts when the facility of the sun reaches 12º and also lasts till 18º. After ~ this period, the actual night begins, return the two phases space very similar to part newbies. 

Astronomical dusk is perfect for astronomers to observe the sky, and it is likewise a good time because that astrophotography. The normal photographers, however, are unable to take great shots unless they target an illuminated city. Objects can barely be distinguished, and colors are not visible. 

During this phase, the Milky way can be observed v a naked eye, and also the many obscure stars come to be visible. The Aurora Borealis starts to display screen beautiful glowing hues of green, and also although the perfect time to reap it is during the darkness phase, some lovely photos can be take away now.


The Aurora Borealis will have a bluish hue if the greens turn into emerald and the reds come purple.

The True Night-Time

Understanding what the night time is deserve to be fairly easy. When all the twilight phases passed, the true night begins. Basically, the night is pure darkness, the time as soon as there is no light air pollution from the Sun. The ideal stargazing endure is during the night time, and also an astronomer must wait until he is can not to see the Sun’s fading light at the horizon.

Scientifically, the night is the duration of time once the facility of the sunlight is in between 18º and also 90º below the horizon. An important thing to notification is the reality that the night time is affected by several factors such as place relative to the equator and the seasons.


The night time is the perfect minute to watch the sky and also its wonders. Those passionate around astrophotography will catch amazing photos of the Milky Way, Aurora Borealis, and also other sky phenomena. 

Proximity come the Equator and Location

One that the most important components that influence the size of the night time is the latitude. Those closer to the equator (latitude 0º) will an alert that night comes lot faster. Closer to the poles, the sunlight takes a an ext gentle angle with the sky; therefore, the takes an ext time to get dark. 

Apart indigenous the proximity to the equator, an additional factor to think about is the altitude. Later, sunsets have the right to be it was observed in high mountains as the horizon is lower. An interesting phenomenon was likewise noticed in the mountain area: double sunset. The sunlight vanishes after a component of the mountain only come reappear on another part before setup ultimately. The very same happens in the cities with really high buildings. However, the phenomenon lasts just 3 minutes. 


During the year, the Earth alters its position about the Sun, which affects the lengths that the night time. However, for many of the areas, the difference is not far-reaching (just a pair of minutes), but it gets an ext enjoyable if you go up North. 

In some situations (Alaska), during the summer months, there is no night in ~ all. This is happening since the Sun never gets past 6º listed below the horizon. The phenomenon is recognized as Midnight Sun, and it is quite important for the locals and also not only. 

However, throughout the winter months, the folks life at the poles experience the Polar Night as soon as the night lasts an ext than 24 hours. However, the is not entirely dark everywhere in the polar circle however only in areas within 5.5º of the poles and when the Moon is below the skyline. The remainder of the places just have more twilight than equatorial regions. 

Solstice and Equinox

Two times a year, the daytime equals the night. These events are well-known as Equinoxes, and also they take place when the facility of the sun is right over the equator. During these events, the sunlight’s refraction causes the sunlight to be seen above the horizon once it’s actually below the skyline.

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The Equinoxes happen on the 20th of September, work getting shorter afterward, and also 23rd of March, when the days’ size increases. 

The Solstices note either the longest job of the year (in June) or the shortest (in December). These occasions happen as soon as the Earth’s axis tilt native the sun is in ~ the maximum. The Sun appears to be at the highest point in the sky. 

So how Long walk It take it to gain Dark after the Sunset?

In short, it takes somewhere in between 70 and also 140 minutes because that the sunlight to go past 18º listed below the horizon and reach the night phase. However, closer to the equator, the timeframe would be about 23 minutes. 

If us look at some figures during the march equinox once the work time is the very same for everyone, we will observe the at the equator, it gets dark much faster than increase north. 

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

Determining the twilight times for a particular an ar might prove difficult, however many websites and apps are designed to help. So, prior to going the end to stargaze, you might want to check one of the dependable sources that will offer you the exact timings because that the right moment to begin watching the sky.

Did friend know?

The pollution is causing-The exceptional beautiful sunsets’ colors. Neighborhood pollution over large cities might cause red sunsets. However, if the smog level is as well high, the whole celestial display will it is in hazed. The red sunsets suspect stormy weather. This is due to the fact that the red wavelengths break through the setting while much shorter ones such together blue are scattered through the dust and also moisture particles. The Norwegian city of Tromso, located over 200 miles north the the Arctic Circle, experience too much light variations in between seasons. During the winter, November to January, the sunlight remains listed below the horizon, and also this duration is well-known as the Polar Night. Because of its high altitude, the twilight is more an extensive during March and September, so there is no actual night.An exciting phenomenon takes location on every summer solstice in north Iceland. That is the only place external the Arctic Circle where you can watch the Sun never sets. If you look at the skyline, friend will view the sun hovering end the sea but not going under the horizon. At the Tropic the Cancer (23.43659º north from the equator), throughout the solstice, around noon, no shadows can be observed. This wake up because, at the time, the sunlight is exactly at a 90º angle to the Earth.Sources:Image Sources: