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Latest Sunset Day
"🎶 Red sails in the sunset, way out on the sea
Oh, carry my loved one home safely to me
She sailed at the dawning, all day I've been blue
Red sails in the sunset, I'm trusting in you."
~ Red Sails in the Sunset, Hugh Williams and Jimmy Kennedy, 1935
Although the summer solstice marks the shortest day of the year, near June 27th is generally the day of the year which has the latest sunset! Interestingly, sunset colors are typically more brilliant than sunrise colors, because the evening air contains more suspended particles than the morning. The period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, during which daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky, is often referred to as the "golden hour" or the "magic hour". Cinematographers and photographers make special use of this period, as the brightness of the sky matches the brightness of streetlights, signs, car headlights and lit windows, making for spectacularly beautiful and evocative imagery. 🌇
Today marks a day with the latest sunset in the northern hemisphere! On either side of a summer solstice, the sun sets and rises at nearly the same time, right down to the minute for a week or two. This seeming pause can fool us into thinking the days are getting longer if we're not paying attention to exact sunset and sunrise times.
Another factor is the alteration of the actual sunset which can happen at a slightly later time depending on where you live. This variation occurs because a day on Earth is actually less than 24 hours.
However, even when that happens as we reckon the sunset time, the total amount of daylight is still shrinking.
Another reason for this perception of increasingly longer days is the Earth's tilt, so that people who live in northern latitudes get more incident sunlight and thus more twilight hours during the summer than people further south do. That might make summer days seem longer than they technically are — especially for those who live farther from the equator.
Regardless, for a view of some of the most famous sunset paintings click the red sails at sunset!