Turns out that Twilight is more than just a bad movie. It is a time of day that occurs every day, along with dawn and dusk.
With so many terms thrown around, what time is dusk? Is it a specific time slot during the day or is it considered to be the same as evening? Some people think dawn is specifically morning so dusk must be any time during the evening. But is that factually correct to use professionally?
Read on to know what time is truly considered to be dusk and what makes it different from the rest of the day.
What Time Is Dusk Supposed To Be?
Dusk isn’t exactly a specific time of the day. It is considered to begin when the Sun descends beneath the horizon to a certain extent.
When the Sun has set considerably on the horizon, it turns from dusk to night. This shows us that dusk isn’t restricted to a time of day. It depends on the position of the Sun and our view of the horizon.
Different stages of dusk occur before night falls. This is the ideal time for star gazing and making astronomical observations. There is no sunlight, but it isn’t exactly completely dark either.
What Are The Different Stages Of Dusk?
There are different stages of twilight that are followed by various stages of dusk. We are familiar with three stages of dusk, which we will elaborate on below.
- The evening civil twilight
- Nautical twilight
- Astronomical twilight
What Is Civil Twilight?
This is a period when the night is starting to emerge. We can still see objects around us as the Sun hasn’t completely made its descent yet. It is at a zero to six-degree angle below the horizon.
It is the brightest form of twilight and artificial sources of light are not required to move outdoors. Without a telescope or binoculars, you can observe only the brightest celestial objects in the night sky during this time.
What Counts As Nautical Twilight?
This is the moment when things get dark and we can make out only silhouettes of things around us. It is when the Sun is at a six to twelve-degree angle below the horizon and is beginning to set into the night.
What’s interesting about this period is how it is useful in both sailing and military implications. Stars were used by sailors to navigate the seas at night and when the horizon was visible during pleasant weather conditions. On the other hand, the military forces of the United States use nautical twilight to plan their operations.
What Is Civil Dusk?
There is a single second between civil twilight and nautical twilight called the civil dusk. This is the point where the Sun is at exactly six degrees below the horizon.
There is also a period called nautical dusk that denotes the point where the Sun is twelve degrees below the horizon. This is when the Sun moves from nautical twilight to astronomical twilight (more on that in a moment).
It is safe to assume that once dusk ends, we enter straight into the night. Most people don’t consider the stages of dusk or twilight. They simply consider the period as when the Sun is still up and when it has set. They care only about whether it is morning or if it has turned into night.
What Are Astronomical Dawn, Twilight, And Dusk?
We won’t go into too much detail about these stages, as they deviate from the question at hand. Astronomical twilight is when the Sun is below the horizon by about twelve to eighteen degrees. If the center of the Sun is at eighteen degrees below the horizon, we progress into astronomical dawn.
There is an instant when the center of the Sun reaches below eighteen degrees of the horizon. This is astronomical dusk and no indirect sunlight is visible. If the weather permits, we can spot faint traces of celestial objects before it turns completely dark.
During astronomical twilight, we can easily observe stars and celestial objects, provided they aren’t too faint. There is also the possibility of using artificial sources of light rather than depending on natural light. Even then, it might be difficult to spot celestial objects with complete clarity.
What Is Dawn?
Now that we know what time is dusk, the next question begins about what is considered dawn. Well, in simple terms, dawn is the reverse of dusk, where the Sun makes an upward motion rather than a decline.
We use the same names to measure dawn and conveniently use the same stages, namely:
- Astronomical dawn
- Nautical dawn
- Civil dawn
It is considered morning when the Sun moves upwards from its eighteen-degree position below the horizon. It moves to the top until it is clearly in our view to mark the sunrise.
In a way, dawn occurs before sunrise and is the brief period when the details of the Sun are still below the horizon. But it is when the light begins to appear that we know that the night is almost complete.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Twilight The Same As Dusk?
Twilight is the period between when the Sun sets and dusk. It is a period when there is still light in the sky and dusk is when there is no more light to be seen.
Is Dusk The Same As Evening?
No, dusk is when the Sun is completely below the horizon at eighteen degrees. It is when there is no more light left and we cannot see clearly around us without any source of artificial light. The evening is a point when the Sun is still considerably out and we can observe the things around us easily.
Is There A Specific Time When Dusk Occurs?
There is no time restriction for when twilight turns to dusk. It all depends on the movement and position of the Sun. Once the Sun has reached an eighteen-degree point below the horizon, dusk begins.
We now know how to differentiate between dawn, twilight, and dusk. We also know the stages of dusk and when it turns to night.
It is interesting to note the various stages of the day. There is a lot more beyond just the morning, afternoon, evening, and night. We have specific names for when the Sun is at different positions, be it on its upward or downward journey.
We hope you remember this article and its findings the next time it starts to get dark out and know that it isn’t yet night. It might be twilight or dusk (or never really) when you decide to rewatch the Twilight movies!