Sunset is a magical time, when the day begins to shift to mysterious night. On the West coast, one often sees people called forth near sundown, to stand as silent witnesses to this daily transformation when the sun disappears below the horizon with astonishing speed.
The time of actual sunset is distinct from dusk, which is when the sky becomes completely dark, and twilight, which is the time between sunset and dusk. Astronomers define sunset as the very moment that the last edge of the disk of the sun disappears below the horizon line.
One of the great attractions to sunset is the range of beautiful colors of the sun itself and the surrounding sky and clouds. The longer path of light through the atmosphere, due to the low angle of the sun, often produces colors are quite intense, red, orange, and purple. The colors of sunset are typically more brilliant than those of sunrise, due to more molecules in the air in the evening. The rays of color with shorter wavelengths, like blue and green, are scattered by air molecules and are less visible.
The sunís setting is variable with the seasonal shifts in the earthís longitude and latitude and elevation. The latest sunset of the solar year are usually mid-summer, late June to early July, in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Southern Hemisphere it occurs in late November to early December.
At the Earthís poles, at least once a year a polar day or night will persist ongoing for 24 hours. During this time, there is no sunset or sunrise experience.
Have you ever seen the green flash? The green flash is visible either right after sunset or right before sunrise just above the upper rim of the sunís disk. It is a very brief optical phenomena, only a second or two, that occur when the atmospheric conditions are just right, separating the light of the sun out into different colors.
The angle of the axis of the Earth relative to the plane of its orbit has a big effect on weather. In the Northern Hemisphere winter season, this area is tilted away from the sun. The reverse is true during the summer season.
Meteorological winter is defined by meteorologists as the lowest three consecutive calendar months with the lowest average temperatures. The three month winter period changes, depending on how far north the area is located.
Astronomical winter is defined the position of the earth in its solar orbit. Winter solstice usually signals the beginning of the astronomical winter and the vernal equinox signals the end of it. The coldest weather in the Northern Hemisphere usually follows the shortest day of daylight, winter solstice.
Ecological winter does not use calendar timings at all, focusing instead of the period of hibernating dormancy exhibited by biological forms, both plant and animal.
Jeanette French, paintings, photographs, canvas prints framed prints, metallic prints, acrylic prints, greeting cards, gift cards, fine art. Creating portals of light, love, joy, beauty, compassion, hope and gratitude is my lifelong passion and gift for the earth, hence the name of my art business, For the Earth. My mother painted in oils when I was young and encouraged my own drawing, painting and handcrafting in all forms. My father, the photographer, gave me my first camera at age 8. As a result of these loving influences, I am a lifelong student of both mediums. I am grateful to my wonderful Pacific NW painter teachers, Stan Capon and Edi Olson, for training my eye and technique. I hope you will enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed its creation. More gifts for the earth can be found at these websites: jeanette-french.artistwebsites.com and jeanette-french.pixels.com.
January 13th, 2013
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