# Why Does The Sun Rise In The East And Set In The West?

L>Sunrise and Sunset
Where Does the Sun Rise and Set? Most people know that theSun "rises in the east và sets in the west".However, most people don"t realize that is a generalization.Actually, the Sun only rises due east & sets due west on2 days of the year -- the spring và fall equinoxes!On other days, the Sun rises either north or south of "due east"and sets north or south of "due west."Each day the rising và settingpoints change slightly. At the summer solstice, the Sun rises as farto the northeast as it ever does, và sets as far khổng lồ the northwest.Every day after that, the Sun rises a tiny bit further south.Atthe fall equinox, the Sun rises due east and sets due west. Itcontinues on it"s journey southward until, at the winter solstice, the Sun rises are far khổng lồ the south as it ever does,and sets as far khổng lồ the southwest.Many, if not most, prehistoric cultures tracked theserising and settings points with great detail.If they had jagged mountains along the horizon, the exact points could bereadily remembered. Without a suitably interesting horizon, standing stonescould be arranged lớn line up withthe various rising và setting points. Or, tree poles could replacethe standing stones. Or, rock cairns could be used. How does this work? The dioramas simulate the rising và setting points of the Sun,and its tracks across the sky at summer solstice(longest track), winter solstice (shortest track), and the spring & fallequinoxes (medium track). A bead placed on one of the trackssimulates the Sun rising along the eastern horizon, travelong along the sky,and setting on the western horizon. Imagine a tiny version of yourself standing in the middle of the wooden disk. Andimagine that the outside rim of the disk represents your horizon. On SummerSolstice, you would see the Sun rise on your "horizon" at the eastern point of thelongest track.

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It would follow the track high in your sky, & eventuallyset on the western horizon. It would be up for about 17 "hours", thus makingsummertime days long và warm.On the Winter Solstice, you would observe the Sun rising at the western end of thesmallest track. It wouldn"t rise high in the sky, & would be up for only about6 or 7 hours, making your days short on daylight and cold.At the Spring và the Fall equinoxes, the Sun would rise at the east end of the middletrack & set at the west end. Your days would be exactly half daylight và half nighttimeand you would experience typical warm/cool spring and fall climates.Build your own Sun Track DioramaWhat about the stars?The rising points of the stars don"t change as much as the Sun"s becausethey are so very far away. So the rising points of stars on the horizon werenot as critical lớn ancient cultures.However, the rising times of stars change by 4 minutes each day, soany particular star would rise at different times during the year. Forabout half the time, the star would rise during the daytime and thus beblocked by the huge light of our Sun.There was something calledthe "heliacal" or dawn rise of a star -- & this happened on only one day ofthe year.Thus these dawn rising were extremely useful for keeping track of exact days.For an explanation và examples of heliacal or dawn risings of stars, seeShow Me a Heliacal Rising. Image credits:Medicine Wheel sunset photograph by Tom Melham.The Tom Melham picture appeared in the National Geographic. According khổng lồ them, it is part of a collection"Mysteries of Mankind: Earth"s Unexplained Landmarks" and the imageis listedas usuable, with no permission or payment required. Just need togive credit, which is: Medicine Wheel sunset photograph by Tom Melham. Native American Suntrack Diorama photo and design by Ginger Armstrong, Kelseyville, CA.Seasons Suntrack Diorama photo by Ben Buress, Chabot Space và Science Center.Suntrack dioramas designed by Deborah Scherrer và Barbara Scherrer. ©2005-2021 by gamize.vn SOLAR Center | Permitted Uses | Credits