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Posted by on Jul 24, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

How Can You Tell What Time It Is by Looking at the Sun?

How Can You Tell What Time It Is by Looking at the Sun?

We know that the Sun moves across the sky during the day. Probably the simplest way to tell time is by knowing the path of the Sun across the sky and how long it takes the Sun to move.

Where on Earth is this method easiest? If the Sun rises high in the sky and its path doesn’t change much from season to season, it is pretty easy to tell time from the position of the Sun. The Sun behaves more like this the closer to the equator one gets.

The sun always rises in the east and sets in the west; therefore you can tell what the time is just by looking at the sun’s location in the sky. When you look east and the sun is on the horizon it means that the time is approximately 6:00am.

If the Sun is about 45 degrees up from the horizon in the east the time should be around 9:00am. When the sun is directly above your head that means its noon. If the Sun is about 45 degrees above the horizon in the west the time should be approximately 3:00pm.

Finally, when you look to the west and the sun is on the horizon it means that the time is around 6:00pm. These times will vary slightly depending if you are in Standard time or Daylight Savings time, and also where you are located in your time zone.

Content for this question contributed by Pam Kerns, resident of Burlington, Boone County, Kentucky, USA