How does refraction of light affect the length of the day?


Question: How does refraction of light affect the length of the day?

Refraction of light plays a subtle but significant role in the length of our days. When sunlight enters the Earth's atmosphere, it bends due to the change in medium, which affects the speed of light. This bending, or refraction, causes the sun to appear slightly higher above the horizon than it actually is. As a result, we experience daylight slightly before the sun crosses the horizon at sunrise and slightly after it has dipped below the horizon at sunset. This phenomenon adds a small amount of time to our perception of daylight, extending the length of the day by a few minutes. This effect is more pronounced during the equinoxes, where despite the common belief that day and night are equal, the day is actually slightly longer due to this atmospheric refraction.

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