As seen in the image above, the sun moves in an arc during the day, always inclined at 32 degrees (Perth's latitude) to the vertical and with the highest point to the north. The sun rises in the east, goes north, and sets in the west at the equinoxes of March (autumn) and September (spring). It then returns south for another day.
In general, if you walk outside on a clear morning and look towards the east, you will see that the Sun rises in that direction. However, if it is mid-summer when you go out, it may be setting in that direction instead!
The earth's axial rotation causes the daily cycle of light and darkness. At the equinoxes, the tilt of the earth's axis is exactly perpendicular to the orbit of the moon around the earth. So at both the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the plane of the earth's orbit is directly over the center of the Earth. Therefore, the moon never leaves our view as it crosses from west to east each night at the equinoxes.
At other times of the year, the angle between the earth's axis and its orbit is not exactly 90 degrees. So the moon appears to move across the sky.
At the time of the solstices, the earth's axis is pointing directly toward or away from the moon.
The rising and setting times vary slightly from day to day. At the summer solstice, the sun rises as far northeast as it ever does and sets as far northwest as it ever does. The sun rises a little more south every day after that. The sun rises straight east and sets due west during the autumn equinox. It takes about 12 hours for the sun to rise and set completely on the southern horizon.
At the winter solstice, the sun never leaves the sky. It just gets lower and lower until it reaches its lowest point in the north at midnight. From then on, the days get longer and longer until the next spring equinox when everything starts over again.
During the summer months, the sunrise is usually very bright because the sun is high in the sky and there are no clouds around to block out some of its light. In fact, it can be quite hot during the early morning hours especially if you're living somewhere with clear skies and ample sunlight all year round.
The sunset is always beautiful, but it's even more so when you live by a body of water or forest. There are many colors to be seen in both the sunrise and sunset, but they're especially vivid in the sunset because all of the daytime colors are still visible after dark has fallen.
It's easy to miss when visiting new places because there's rarely a sunset here that matches what we'm used to back home.
The sun normally sets in the west, although technically it only sets due west at the spring and fall equinoxes. The direction of sunset pivots around this westerly point for the remainder of the year, shifting northerly in winter and southerly in summer. This is true even though the actual position of the sun remains south of west all day long.
In the United States, people usually refer to the sunrise as taking place in the east. However, the sunrise always takes place north of east at the northernmost parts of the country. It is only because of where we are located that we see the sun rise in the west. If we were farther south, we would be looking up at the sunrise instead of down at it.
In fact, if you walked out your back door right now and looked toward the west, you would see the rising sun on the eastern horizon. It is just that when we look west, we are actually seeing north through the center of town where the street lights come on at night!
People often ask me how they can tell if it's going to be a sunny day. They want to know whether to go outside or not. The best way to tell is to check online weather maps and forecasts before you go out somewhere so you don't get caught by surprise if it isn't going to be a sunny day after all.
At the summer solstice, the sun is above at a southern latitude of 23.5 degrees. The Tropic of Capricorn crosses close to the south of Rockhampton, Australia. This is the imaginary line that divides the world into two equal parts - the northern hemisphere during autumn and the southern hemisphere during spring.
The sun will be in the south at some time between your last sunset and sunrise. Since the earth spins on its axis, but doesn't rotate around the sun, at different times of year we are given the opportunity to see new stars shine through every day. These nights are called "dark" because there are no clouds in the sky to block out the light from heaven.
The moon also causes problems for astronomers when trying to study distant objects in the night sky. Because it's so large, it makes even very small errors in position noticeable over time. For this reason, most satellites carry clocks that allow them to correct their own position using multiple passes of radio signals between Earth and space vehicles.
But what about here on Earth? The sun rises in the east because our planet is spinning and moving in its orbit around the sun. During a day, the east is rising and the west is falling. At the end of the day, the opposite is true.