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Brian Gotter: Welcome Back, Gotter

Why does the sun rise earlier here then in Florida?

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Astronomical summer officially begins tomorrow at 12:16pm making it the day of the year with the most amount of daylight.  The sunrise is at 5:13am and the sunset at 8:35pm, or about 15.5 hours of daylight compared to about 9 hours of daylight on the first day of winter on December 21st. 

My father-in-law was visiting from Florida last week and he asked why the sunrises so much earlier in the morning then in Florida…he was actually complaining that it is light out at 5am while he is trying to sleep. 

The first reason has to deal with cities latitude.  Locations along the equator receive 12 hours of daylight and night every day of the year.  If the Earth was not tilted on its axis, this would be the case for every city in the world, but because of the tilt, we having varying amounts of daylight and heating that create the seasons.  As you go north of the equator in the summer, the days get longer with increasing latitude until there is 24 hours of daylight for a few weeks along the Arctic Circle.  The amount of daylight decreases as you go north during the winter months. 

The amount of daylight also increases as you go further west in a time zone.  Milwaukee’s sunset tonight is 8:34, while Sioux Falls is 9:11 and both are at similar latitudes.

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Milwaukee, WI

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