When we talk about sunlight, we usually think of a warm summer day when the sun shines bright and long. However, as it turns out, the amount of sunlight we receive during the day depends on many factors, such as latitude, hemisphere, and time of year.
Latitude is the distance from the equator to the poles. The amount of sunlight we receive depends on how close we are to the equator. This is because the earth rotates on its axis, and the tropics, the area of the globe on either side of the equator, point toward the sun. Therefore, around the equator, the Sun tends to rise straight up above the horizon. When we travel north or south of the tropics, the Sun rises at a greater inclination. In the northern hemisphere, the Sun moves along the horizon from left to right at sunrise and sunset; in the southern hemisphere, it moves from right to left.
The effect of this tilt is that it takes longer for the Sun to rise and set: the upper edge of the Sun appears even earlier at sunrise, and the lower edge disappears even later at sunset. Your hemisphere also affects how much sunlight you get, since you have longer summers in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere, due to the fact that our planet’s orbit is elliptical rather than a perfect circle.
The average daylight hours per day are more than 12 hours anywhere on the planet. This is because Earth’s atmosphere slightly refracts light, which means that you get some light before the Sun technically rises above the horizon in the morning and after the Sun disappears behind it at night. The amount of this refracted light you receive depends on your latitude.
Now let’s look at some specific examples. In Budeau, Norway, the daylight hours are on average 36.5 minutes longer than in Sydney, Australia. London has about 12 hours and 20 minutes a day, which is about 10 minutes more than Sydney. New York City is in between, where the daylight hours are about 12 hours and 15 minutes a day.
However, if you want to go to a place where you get the most sunshine, you need altitude. At the top of Mount Trout in Greenland, the daylight hours are 5,052 hours a year-more than anywhere else on the planet.
Also, the amount of sunlight we get depends on the time of year. For example, in Anchorage, Alaska, the daylight hours are only 5 hours and 28 minutes in winter and 19 hours and 21 minutes in summer.
So the amount of sunlight we get depends on many factors, including latitude, hemisphere, time of year, and altitude. But no matter where you are, the sun will always give us light and warmth.