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ERIC Number: EJ913090
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Whither Does the Sun Rove?
Gangui, Alejandro
Physics Teacher, v49 n2 p91-93 Feb 2011
If one asked some friends where on the horizon they should expect to see the sunrise, half of the answers would be in the east. Of course, something analogous would happen with the sunset and the west. However, sunrise and sunset virtually never occur at these cardinal points. In fact, those answers correctly describe observations only during the equinoxes, when either autumn or spring begin. Once we recall this, the next natural question to ask ourselves is: how far from the east (or from the west) the rising (or setting) Sun is located for a given latitude of the observer and for a given day of the year. In this paper we supply some simple tools to easily visualize the angular (southward or northward) departure of the rising and setting Sun on the horizon from the east-west direction in a pictorial way, without the need of mathematics. These tools have proven a valuable resource in teaching introductory physics and astronomy courses.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A