East 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 west twice a year—-on the spring and autumn equinoxes! The other 90% of the time it rises due south and sets north or northeast.
For example, if you were to walk toward the rising sun from North Carolina on July 4, 1776 at 9:00 A.M., it would be setting directly west about 20 minutes later near Dunstable, Va. If you walked back toward the setting sun from Virginia on October 12, 1800 at 3:30 P.M., it would be rising due east near Ipswich, Mass. It takes approximately six hours for the sun to rise and set each day. During a full moon, these events occur within 30 minutes of each other.
The angle below which the sun appears in the sky during any given hour depends on where you are located on Earth. At the equator, the sun appears straight overhead at its zenith (maximum height). As you go north or south, it gets lower until it reaches the horizon at some point around the earth's surface. The farther north or south you go, the closer it gets to the horizon.
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 of the sun is almost perpendicular to the equator, so it goes through all parts of the earth except for a small strip along the equator. This strip is called the morning or southern hemisphere. The rest of the time, you can see it rising in the east and setting in the west.
The sun sets because we are moving towards the north star. So, the sun will rise in the east, move generally north until it reaches the horizon, and then start its downward journey to sunset. However, since this is a large sphere, it doesn't quite reach straight down. Instead, the sun is tilted at an angle about 23.5 degrees relative to the vertical axis. As a result, part of it is below the horizon at any given moment during winter and part of it is above during summer.
This is why the sun appears to be rising more north than east every day. In reality, it's still rising from the east but due to the rotation of the earth, it looks like it's coming from further north.
So, yes, the sun can rise from the north.
East The sun is believed to rise in the east and set in the west. However, in New York's latitude, this is not the case. The sun rises in the northeast and sets in the northwest on the summer solstice, while the angle reverses on the winter solstice, with the sun rising in the southeast and setting in the southwest. On average, it can be said that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
North The sun appears to move north across the sky on June 21st, but due to Earth's rotation, it is actually moving south at a rate of 14 miles per hour. Due to this fact, people living under northern skies will see morning stars until July 23rd, when the moon becomes full. During this time, the only real opportunity to see the sunrise is during the few minutes after midnight and before dawn breaks. North of about 40 degrees north latitude, there are no clouds in the sky at any time of year, so anyone living in a region without severe weather should experience beautiful mornings every day of the year.
West The sun appears to move west across the sky on December 21st, but again due to Earth's rotation, it is actually moving east at a rate of 14 miles per hour. Therefore, people living under western skies will see sunset clouds on February 11th, while those under southern skies won't see any signs of spring for several months later.
East The sun rises in an easterly direction, but only twice a year does it rise exactly straight east. In truth, the exact location of the sun when it rises fluctuates throughout the year. The Sun rises in its furthest southerly position beginning on the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice. It reaches its highest point in the sky at noon on March 20 and returns to below the horizon by its lowest point, south-southeast, on September 23.
West The sun sets in a westerly direction, but only once a year does it set exactly west. In fact, the exact location where the sun sets fluctuates throughout the year. The Sun sets in its farthest northern position on the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice. It reaches its lowest point on the horizon near midnight on October 31 and begins to rise again the next morning.
South-southwest The sun is most likely to be found in the southwest during the summer months but can sometimes be seen in the southeast during the winter months.
North-northeast The sun is most likely to be found in the northeast during the fall months but can sometimes be seen in the northwest during the spring months.
Due to these astronomical factors, people living anywhere other than the middle of the country will see some difference between the directions in which the sun rises and sets.
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 constant during a day. Due to atmospheric conditions, such as clouds or haze, it is possible for the sun to set east or west while observing its normal course across the sky.
In the United States, the sun usually rises in the east, but this is not always the case. If you travel east of the Mississippi River, then you will experience morning twilight every day because the sun doesn't rise far enough east to reach the horizon. By contrast, if you travel west of the river then you will see no morning twilight because the sun is high enough in the sky to illuminate everything on earth before it rises.
The direction the sun comes up in determines what time of year it is. If it rises in the east, then it's springtime. If it rises in the west, then it's autumn. But which way is which? The answer depends on where you are located on the planet. If you're in the eastern half of North America, then the sun rises in the west and it's autumn.