TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Friday marks one of two days throughout the year where Tampa Bay’s sunrise and sunset occur at the same time in the morning as the evening, exactly 12 hours apart.
Sunrise Friday morning was 7:20 a.m. while sunset Friday evening is 7:20 p.m. Some might assume that would result in equal amounts of daylight as darkness, but that is not the case.
Equal amounts of daylight and darkness occur on the equinox, both the fall and spring. The fall equinox was Monday, Sept. 23. On Monday, however, the sunrise and sunset times were not exactly 12 hours apart.
The discrepancy comes from the technical definitions of sunrise and sunset.
On the equinox, the very center of the sun rises above the horizon in the morning and sinks below the horizon in the evening exactly 12 hours apart.
However, the technical definition of a sunrise is when the very top of the sun rises above the horizon. On the other hand, the sunset occurs the moment the very top of the sun sinks below the horizon.
The sun takes several minutes to fully rise and set. When you take into account those few extra minutes and consider the technical definitions, the sunrise and sunset will be skewed on the day of the equinox.
A few days later, our days continue to get shorter heading into winter. The sunrise and sunset times meet up and are exactly 12 hours apart.
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