MONDAY, JUNE 26 - HOW HIGH IS THE SUN IN THE SKY?


This time of year, the sun's above the horizon for about 15 hours a day around here. Six months from now, that'll only be about 9 hours. That huge difference in the length of daylight helps explain why summer's so much warmer than winter.

But we also need to look at how high the sun gets in the sky while it's up. In late December, the highest the sun ever rises is about 25 degrees above our horizon. That's not very high in the sky! Compare that to this time of year, when the sun gets to 25 degrees above the horizon by 8 in the morning, and stays above that angle until 6 in the evening. This means that for 10 hours a day right now, the sun is higher in the sky than it ever gets in late December. And the higher the sun is in the sky, the more intense the radiation reaching the ground.

It's the same principle with any kind of light a flashlight or your car's headlights. The more direct the light, the more intense it is.

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