Saturday, January 15, 2011

How high does our sun get?

Recently we talked about our sun rising between 9 and 10:30 AM.

This is our sun at 1 PM on a surprisingly sunny Sunday, January 16th.
Did you notice the shadows form the trees?

Yes, this is 1 PM. I am not kidding; this is just past high noon!

I had never thought how high the sun gets from the horizon this time of year, and I would have said it is 25 degrees. According to the pros,I was way off; it is no where that high!

Yet, our sun is pretty high compared to other places in AK.

Take a look at this January Fairbank's pic taken form a calendar. In the December solstice, theirs only rises 2 degree above the horizon, according to what I read. Fortunately the cold weather causes so much refraction of light that it appears higher.

Our nights are long; we try to find things to keep us entertained. So I decided to check it out further.

During the Winter solstice at 1 PM, Kodiak's sun was 8 degrees above the horizon; today (in the top picture) it was only 12 degrees high at 1 PM. (That's what they say, even if it looks more than 12 degrees to me).

In the summer it will finally reach 55 degrees above the horizon. No where close to straight above or 90 degrees! (But fortunately, it will stay in the visible sky for a lot of hours at that time of the year.)

How does the sun's elevation compare to your place?

According to NOAA: in San Antonio it will be at 37, 41, and 82 degrees above the horizon on those same dates.

ABQ's will be: 31, 34, and 73.

If your nights are long and you have nothing else to do, check it out for your own city at:


Laurie said...

Great post. I live in Madison, WI and it is considerably higher.

Today the sun rose at
7:19 AM - 5:02 PM
9h 42m 51s - day length
28.3° - Sun angle

Dec 21
7:26 AM - 4:25 PM
8h 59m 37s - day length
23.5° - sun angle

Jun 21, 2011
5:18 AM - 8:41 PM
15h 22m 23s - day length
70.4° - sun angle

Data from

Cindy said...

Thanks for your local data, Laurie.