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Having recently encountered (in "another place") a fair degree of misunderstanding and some fairly dodgy explanations as to why twilight is longer in summer than in winter, I have now added a tutorial on Twilight, which I hope will clarify matters, to my astronomical tutorials page.

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This topic came up on Test Match Special this evening. The Sri Lankan commentator was recalling that as a kid, play stopped at about 6pm as it was dark, and quickly, but listening to matches in England on TMS they were astounded that play could go on until 7.30 here. One of the TMS team had a vague idea it was to do with being near/far from the equator, but they couldn't explain it much beyond that.

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The fast sunset on the equator can be a bit of a shock, especially in countries whare being out after dark needs thinking about! Nice explanation.

Olly

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I'm a Rhodesian (aka Zimbabwean). One of my favourite spots was Inyanga, in the eastern highlands of the country. Best night skies I've ever had the pleasure to lay under. However, the temperature drop from day to night could be phenomenal and, with so little twilight, fast. Time your return from a daytime walk badly, and you can still be out, dressed for 30*C temperature, in the dark with the temperature heading into single figures.

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Twilight is the time between dawn and sunrise or between sunset and dusk, during which sunlight scattering in the upper atmosphere illuminates the lower atmosphere, and the surface of the earth is neither completely lit nor completely dark. The sun itself is not directly visible because it is below the horizon. Owing to the distinctive quality of the ambient light at this time, twilight has long been popular with photographers and painters, who refer to it as the "blue hour", after the French expression l'heure bleue. Twilight is technically defined as the period between sunset and sunrise during which there is natural light provided by the upper atmosphere, which receives direct sunlight and scatters part of it towards the earth's surface.The collateral adjective for twilight is crepuscular; it is most frequently encountered when applied to certain insects and mammals that are most active during that time.

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Create your own sun rise / set moon rise /set and twilight times at this sight. this really helps plan observing session for later in the year

Custom Location Entry for Sunrise Sunset Calendar

Interesting link - just set it for my location on longest day - we got 47mins of "darkness" compared to 12h 40m for the shortest day!

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I'm a Rhodesian (aka Zimbabwean). One of my favourite spots was Inyanga, in the eastern highlands of the country. Best night skies I've ever had the pleasure to lay under. However, the temperature drop from day to night could be phenomenal and, with so little twilight, fast. Time your return from a daytime walk badly, and you can still be out, dressed for 30*C temperature, in the dark with the temperature heading into single figures.

I had my honeymoon in the Maldives, one things that stunned me was the speed at which it got dark!

One minute it was lovely and sunny, go in to get a beer from the fridge and come out and it's dark - quite strange!!!

Ant

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I'm a Rhodesian (aka Zimbabwean). One of my favourite spots was Inyanga, in the eastern highlands of the country. Best night skies I've ever had the pleasure to lay under. However, the temperature drop from day to night could be phenomenal and, with so little twilight, fast. Time your return from a daytime walk badly, and you can still be out, dressed for 30*C temperature, in the dark with the temperature heading into single figures.

my wife is from the same place well bulawayo went there a few years ago. and it was just starting to go dark then all of a sudden as if some one switched the light out, it went pitch black.

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my wife is from the same place well bulawayo

Bulawayo (Matsheumhlope, to be precise) is where I grew up and where I started becoming interested in astronomy at the age of about 8 or 9.

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