# Calculate what distance the sunset moves

• jtaravens
In summary, the conversation is about the location of the sun and how it affects planting a shade tree. The sun sets to the west in Maryland and the location of the sunset shifts during different seasons. The individual is asking for a way to calculate how far the sunset moves during the seasons in order to plant the tree in the correct location for both early spring and late summer. Another individual suggests using a planetarium program to determine the sunset's azimuth, with a reminder to reference true north instead of magnetic north.
jtaravens
Hi,
The reason I'm asking this is because I am planting a shade tree and I want the location to be correct for both early spring and late summer.

I am in Maryland (East Coast USA). The sun sets to the west.

If I compare the location of the sunset in April to the sunset in September am I correct in the sunset in April being more to the left and the sunset in September being more to the right?

Does anyone have any way to calculate what distance the sunset moves during the seasons? I want to plant my tree now but I also want the tree top to be useful in blocking the sun in late summer too.

John

Hi John!

Sunset about March 21st and September 21st should both be due West.

From there to mid-June, sunset gets further north (ie to the right).

thanks! I managed to figure out that it moves north but I'm glad you added the mid-june thing on top of the equinoxes. Now it makes sense!

John

Using DC as the location...
The sun sets at an azmuth of 300 degrees on June 21.
The sun sets at an azmuth of 239 degrees on December 21.

When you check your sight lines, make sure you are referencing true north, not magnetic: The variation for you is -11 degrees (true north is to the right of magnetic).

## What is the significance of calculating the distance the sunset moves?

Calculating the distance the sunset moves can help us understand the Earth's rotation and its position relative to the Sun. It can also provide valuable information for navigation and astronomical research.

## How is the distance the sunset moves calculated?

The distance the sunset moves is calculated by measuring the change in the Sun's position from one day to the next. This can be done using tools such as a sundial or by tracking the Sun's movement using a compass or other navigational instrument.

## What factors can affect the distance the sunset moves?

The distance the sunset moves can be affected by factors such as the Earth's tilt and orbit, atmospheric conditions, and the observer's location on the Earth's surface. These factors can cause variations in the sunset's path throughout the year.

## Is the distance the sunset moves consistent every day?

No, the distance the sunset moves can vary depending on the time of year and the observer's location. This is due to the Earth's tilt and orbit, which cause the Sun's path to change throughout the year.

## What units are used to measure the distance the sunset moves?

The distance the sunset moves is typically measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds. This is because the Sun's path is measured in relation to the Earth's horizon, which is divided into 360 degrees.

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