“We stand on the threshold of a twilight – whether morning or evening we do not know. One is followed by the night, the other heralds the dawn.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Twilight … The word conjures up a myriad of visions and feelings. With the continuing heat, evenings have become the ideal time of day. Cooler temperatures draw us outdoors for the day’s grand finale, a magic moment just before dark. Fall finally overcomes summer and brings change. A few more days of summer-like weather linger. The duration of daylight grows shorter as the earth’s axis is slowly tilting further from the sun. Another lesser-known fact is the length of twilight begins to fade. In other words, it gets dark fast.
Twilight – what is it exactly? Answers may vary depending on your source. No doubt among our young readers, vampires are included! Twilight is the brief time of day separating the sun’s rays of daylight from the full shadow of night. Rays of the sun light up the sky though the sun is still below the horizon. Did you know twilight occurs twice during the 24-hour day? “Dawn twilight” is in the morning, just before sunrise. In the evening, it is “dusk twilight.” Both present brilliant hues of red, yellow, pink and orange that transition to shades of blue; it is a real two-for-one deal, compliments of Mother Nature. A few passing clouds may give a bonus touch of awesome.
The length of twilight changes depending on the time of year. In our location, closest to the spring and autumn equinoxes, twilight is shortest at approximately 25 minutes. During summer and winter, close to their solstices, twilight is longer approximately 30 minutes. At the North and South Poles, twilight can span 24 hours. While at the equator, at sunset it immediately becomes dark – there is no twilight. I would like to experience both!
For our current weather, days hover around 90 degree and nights at 60 degrees. By next Thursday, better locate your umbrella. There is a 20% chance of rain in the forecast.
The above is science fact, affecting “all creatures great and small.” Soon our evenings at the “Cheryl Davis CV Dog Park” will be in the dark (maybe with rain?).
Sorry Abby, fellow canines and their people – but the seasons do change.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.