# Can the sun rise in the west?

You may have observed that the sun does not always rise and set in the same direction. So, where exactly does the sun rise and set? Though it rises from the east, it also moves somewhat north or south in the sky from day to day. The path that it takes is called its zenithal arc. The point on this arc directly above your head is where the sun will be at any given moment.

From there, it starts to go down again. But instead of going back into the east, it turns west. Before long, it has crossed over the horizon and you can see it again. This goes on every day for us here on Earth. But what happens if you are somewhere else for those days?

If we look at a map of the world, then we can see that there are two points on our planet where you could stand and see all four directions in their entirety: one is near the North Pole and the other is near the South Pole.

But people don't usually live at these places. Instead, they live near the equator, where the sun appears to rise and set over the same area of earth each day. Only around 90 degrees away from the equator is there another region with this property. And even here, it's only for a small part of the year.

## Does the sun move horizontally?

In general, the sun appears to rise in the east, ascend high overhead in the equatorial direction, and then fall down and set in the west throughout the globe. But there are two exceptions to this general rule: The first exception occurs near the poles, where we call it the polar sunrise or polar sunset. The second exception occurs near the equator, where the sun never sets; instead, it circles around below the horizon all day long, coming back up again at night.

These are important things to know when planning a trip somewhere warm like Miami or Los Angeles. If you don't see either of these exceptions, then you're in for a rude awakening when you do reach pole or equator, respectively!

The polar sunrise happens when you're at the point on Earth where you neither rise nor set. That's right - the horizon is always straight ahead, so you can't see any landmasses at all. The only thing that rises over the horizon is sunlight itself. The effect is amazing - after a clear day with no clouds or fog, you can watch as the sun climbs higher and higher until it reaches its highest point during the day. From there, it begins to descend, bringing darkness to another day.

## Does the sun rise on the east or west coast?

The sun "rises in the east and sets in the west," as most people are aware. Most individuals, however, are unaware that this is a generality. Actually, the sun only rises directly east and sets due westtwice a year—-onthe spring and autumn equinoxes! The other 18 months it crosses the sky north of east or south of west.

Thus, the sun can be anywhere on the horizon on any day of the year. It cannot be seen at its highest point in the sky during the winter months because it is below the horizon then.

However, if you live somewhere where there is no darkness from November through March, then you will know that the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west.

During these three months of the year, the sun will be rising over the eastern part of the world and setting under your feet. This is called the Eastern Hemisphere's morning and western afternoon shadow. During the rest of the year, these shadows will vary depending on the position of the Sun with respect to the Earth.

For example, if you live in California and walk outside at noon during the summer months, you will see that the western half of the state is in direct sunlight while the eastern half is in partial shade. This is because we are approximately 50 miles away from the nearest continent (Africa) and its yearly rotation brings Africa between us and the Sun.

##### Cindy Bennett

Cindy Bennett's journey started when she was 16 years old. She had a near death experience and it changed her life for the better. It showed her that we are all spiritual beings, and we should live our lives to reflect this truth. Her mission is to help others connect with their inner spirit through healing, spiritual development, meditation and yoga which she teaches in person or online at any time of day or night!

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