From dawn to dusk, do you know the stages of daylight?

Posted at 10:11 AM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 10:24:51-05

We’ve got daylight everyone!  It’s lasting longer and longer through the summer solstice.  Now coming up before 7AM and setting after 6PM.

If you think about it though, daylight can be tricky business, after all there is dawn and dusk of civil twilight, nautical twilight and then there’s astronomical twilight too! 

The different between them is pretty simple scientifically!

Civil Twilight is when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon and lasts through sunrise for dawn – or sunset to 6 degrees below the horizon for dusk.

Nautical Twilight is when the sun is 6-12 degrees below the horizon.

Astronomical Twilight is when the sun is 12-18 degrees below the horizon.

Here is what it means to us! 

Civil twilight is just before you see the sun actually rise or just as the sun sets.  You won’t need to turn a light on to see what you're doing, it typically is bright outside at this point of the morning/evening.

Nautical Twilight you’ll probably need some form of light to see easily even though the sky is turning lighter or just beginning to darken during dusk.

Astronomical Twilight you’ll need your own light to take care of business.  Astronomical twilight is the sky just as it turns from pitch dark to hints of lighter blue for dawn and just the opposite for dusk, it’s hues of blue right before the darkness of night.

Click here if you want to look at all the stages of daylight and timing of our sunrises and sunsets through the year.