[ELI5] I live in Australia, here the sun sets at 6 pm. How come in Los Angeles it sets at 8pm?


Is it due to the position on the earth in relation to earths axis?

In: Earth Science

Mainly due to the curved shape of the earth. The places closest to the equator have to longest light, the farther away the shorter. This is why Northern Norway/Canada etc have some very dark days around December 21st, and virtually no night around 21st of July.

Due to the axis en the rotation, every day the time of rising and setting of the sun adjusts a little. Growing longer between December and July, and shorter between July and December.

Basically, yes. Here is a picture of how the daytime/night time looks on Earth if it was a flat map:


As the earth turns, you can imagine the area of daytime/night time shifting to the left.

You can see that the dividing line between day and night is slanted. So it hits Australia in the south sooner than it would hit Los Angeles in the north.

Depends on where you are in relation to timezones — are you at the front of the zone or back of the zone — and also proximity to the equator.

On the equator, sun sets at the same time every day. In the Arctic/Antarctic circles, they have periods of the year where it’d dark for weeks without any sunrise and times where it’s light for weeks without any sunset. In between there are different variances between shortest and longest days.

But in addition to natural variations in sunrise/sunset patterns, there are man-made ones with timezones. They are often shifted to correspond to country borders and not even all the time, and there are variances whether you’re at the front of the zone of back of the zone.

As an example, I live in Illinois, which is in the Central US time zone, while Indiana, the state to our East, is in the Eastern time zone. So if one were to be near the border of the two states, the sunset would be an hour later on the Indiana side, ie. if it’s 6pm there it’d only 5pm across the border in Illinois. Same time of year, same latitude, etc. but hour difference in sunset time. But if one were in the far Eastern part of the time zone on same latitude like New Jersey, the sunset might have been at 4pm!

The US also has Daylight Savings Time in the summer. In the spring, we set out clicks ahead on hour, which gives an extra hour of daylight on the evening (and less in the morning). In the fall, we set out clocks back one hour, losing that extra hour of daylight at the end of the day.

We don’t gain or lose any daylight. We just change our schedules so the “extra” hour of daylight is available when more of us are awake. In the winter, there isn’t any spare daylight to shift around, so the clocks shift back.

A lot of weird answers here, but it has to do with the curvature and tilt of the earth. The further you are from the equator (latitude) the more the length if the days changes throughout the year, depending on how much of the earth is tilted towards the sun. In equatorial regions, the days are close to the same length throughout the year. I’m located more northerly and in the winter the sun sets at about 4:30pm. In the summer it sets at 9:30. I uave west-facing windows and the point on the horizon where the sun goes down shifts through the year nearly across the entire field of view. It’s a very significant change. If you go far enough north or south, you get to places where the sun doesn’t rise at all for a brief period in the winter, and doesn’t set at all in the summer. This is all due to the tilt of the earth and where it is at in it’s annual orbit of the sun.

It’s autumn in Australia it’s basically summer in LA,

Really don’t know how this needs an eli5,

In autumn/winter the sun sets earlier in spring/summer the sun sets later.

Here in London today, the sunrise was 4:42am, and sunset will be 9:21pm.

It depends on where you are on the globe. We’re quite far north, and in fact during summer it doesn’t get truly dark at night as the Sun is only just below the horizon.