Science

Difference between dawn and twilight

Main difference

The main difference between sunrise and sunset is that sunrise is the period when the sun is about to rise and there is a twilight in the sky, while twilight is the time between sunrise and the morning when the sun it is about to rise, and there is semi-darkness in the sky.

Dawn vs. Twilight

Dawn is the period when the sun is about to rise and there is twilight in the sky, while twilight is the period between dawn and morning and dusk and night. Dawn is classified as astronomical dawn, nautical dawn, and civil dawn; on the other hand, twilight is classified as civil twilight, nautical twilight, and astronomical twilight.

The astronomical dawn is the darkest phase of dawn; on the contrary, nautical twilight and astronomical twilight are the darkest phases of twilight. The sunrise time period is before sunrise; on the other hand, the twilight time period is before sunrise and sunset.

As the darkest phases, there are also light phases of dawn and dusk, and the civil dawn is the light phase of dawn; on the opposite side, civil twilight is the light phase of twilight. Sunrise can be observed before twilight, while twilight can be observed after sunrise and sunset. Dawn occurs once every 24 hours; conversely, twilight occurs twice in 24 hours. During astronomical sunrise, stars and distant objects are visible to the naked eye; on the other hand, stars and bright objects are visible during astronomical twilight.

Comparative chart

Sunrise Twilight
It is the period when the sun is about to rise and there is a twilight in the sky. It is the period between dawn and morning and dusk and night.
Types
Astronomical sunrise, nautical sunrise and civil sunrise. Its types are civil twilight, astronomical twilight, and nautical twilight.
Dark phases
The astronomical dawn is the darkest phase without visibility. Nautical twilight and astronomical twilight are the darkest phases with very poor visibility.
Time frame
Before dawn Before sunrise and sunset
Idea
It can be seen before twilight. It can be seen after sunrise and sunset.
Brighter phase
Civil dawn is the brightest phase of dawn. Civil twilight is the brightest phase of twilight.
Duration
Occurs once in 24 day courses. It occurs twice in the daytime course.
Star visibility
Visible during astronomical sunrise. The bright stars are visible during astronomical twilight.
Object visibility
During civil dawn, the objects are visible. During civil twilight, the objects are evident.
What is Dawn?

The word “Dawn” originates from Old English, which means “to become day.” It is the hour that represents the beginning of the day before sunrise. It is the appearance of little sunlight, which spreads across the sky.

Sunrise is classified into three types based on the amount of sunlight in the sky. These are the astronomical dawn, the nautical dawn, and the civil dawn. During astronomical sunrise, the center of the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon. At nautical dawn, its center is 12 degrees below the horizon, and during civil sunrise, its center is 6 degrees below the horizon.

The astronomical dawn begins when sunlight penetrates the upper atmosphere of the Earth, which scatters it, illuminating the lower atmosphere of the Earth. At this time, the starlight begins to dim. In the place where there is air pollution, the astronomical sunrise is indistinguishable from the night. The astronomical sunrise lasts when the nautical sunrise begins.

Nautical dawn begins when the sun’s rays touch Earth’s atmosphere at an angle of 12 degrees. In this event, there is enough light in the sky to distinguish land and water. But it is still dark, so no outdoor activities can be done. The nautical dawn ends with the beginning of the civil dawn.

Civil dawn occurs when the sun’s rays touch the horizon at 6 degrees, and the sky is somewhat orange and red in color. In that light, several objects can be distinguished, but the day has not yet risen. At that point some bright planets and stars are visible. Civil dawn lasts until dawn.

What is Twilight?

Twilight is the period between sunrise and sunrise and sunset and night when there is twilight in the sky. Twilight is due to the illumination of Earth’s lower atmosphere when the sun is below the horizon. It is neither completely dark nor light. The intensity of twilight depends on the distance between the sunlight and the horizon. Farther away, the darkest sunlight is twilight.

When the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon, twilight is almost zero. This is when the day begins to emerge. Twilight is classified into three types, civil twilight, nautical twilight, and astronomical twilight. Civil twilight is the brightest, while nautical and astronomical twilight is the darkest.

Twilight civil surfaces are when the sun is 6 degrees below the sky-ledge and deters at dawn in the morning and dusk at night. During this time, various objects can be easily distinguished and distant stars can be seen with the naked eye.

Nautical twilight begins when the center of the sun is 12 degrees below the horizon and ends when it is 6 degrees below the horizon. Follow the civil twilight. At this time, land and water cannot be distinguished and there is darkness. But the human eye can distinguish the boundaries of different objects.

Astronomical twilight begins when the core of the sun is 18 degrees below the Earth’s sphere. During this period, there is total darkness and the sky is not illuminated by any light.

Key differences
  1. Dawn is the period when the sun is about to rise and there is twilight in the sky, while twilight is the period between dawn and morning and dusk and night.
  2. Dawn is classified as astronomical dawn, nautical dawn, and civil dawn; on the other hand, twilight is classified as civil twilight, nautical twilight, and astronomical twilight.
  3. The astronomical dawn is the darkest phase of dawn; on the contrary, nautical twilight and astronomical twilight are the darkest phases of twilight.
  4. The sunrise period is before sunrise; on the other hand, the twilight period is before sunrise and sunset.
  5. Civil dawn is the brightest phase of dawn; on the contrary, civil twilight is the brightest phase of twilight.
  6. Sunrise can be observed before twilight, while twilight can be observed after sunrise and sunset.
  7. Dawn occurs once every 24 hours; conversely, twilight occurs twice in 24 hours.
  8. During astronomical sunrise, the stars are visible to the naked eye; on the other hand, bright stars are visible during astronomical twilight.
  9. During civil dawn, the objects are visible; on the opposite side, the objects that are visible during civil twilight.

Final Thought

So sunrise is the period before twilight and occurs only once a day, and twilight is the period before sunset and sunrise, which occurs twice a day.

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