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When I was in Germany I watched the sunset and the sun went down really slowly. Then I came back to Goleta and I watched the sunset and the sun went down really fast. Why is that?
Question Date: 2003-12-14
Answer 1:

Good question. The sun sets much faster near the equator of the Earth. Germany is much farther from the equator than Goleta. This happens because the angle that you see the sun is different in Germany. From Germany, the sun doesn't rise near as high in the sky, but it is still highest at noon. That means that it seems to move much slower than the Sun in Goleta because it moves a shorter distance in the same time. When it begins to touch the horizon of the earth while it is setting, it is still moving slower than the Goleta sun. If you ever visit the equator, you will see that the sun often sets in less than two minutes!

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