Who sees the sun rise

Sunrise sunset Warm days, white nights in May


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Many a mild May night invites you to gaze at the stars. But what if it doesn't get really dark anymore? The White Nights begin here in Bavaria. We reveal how much sunshine May has in store and when it gets really dark.

From: Heike Westram

Status: 04/30/2021 9:00 a.m.

The sun has long been queen in the sky again - the days are longer than the nights and grow again for over an hour in May: At the end of the month there is almost 16 hours of sunlight per day. At midday in May the sun rises three fingers higher and at the end of the month is almost 64 degrees above the horizon - there is only a finger's breadth missing to the highest level in our latitudes in June.

Start astron. dusk3.46 a.m.2.25 a.m.
sunrise5.55 a.m.5.19 a.m.
Day length14 h 32 min15 h 46 min
sunset8:27 p.m.9:05 p.m.
End of astron. dusk10:38 p.m.11:59 p.m.

From sunrise to sunset

Sunrise & sunset in May

On May 1st, the sun rises around six o'clock and sets at eight-thirty - 14½ hours of sunlight. The days grow by more than an hour by the end of the month: sunrise on May 31 is almost forty minutes earlier at twenty minutes past five. The sunset at just after nine o'clock in the evening brings about half an hour more sunlight than at the beginning of the month.

Longer twilight, shorter nights in May

The twilight phase is getting longer: at the beginning of May, twilight lasts two hours, eleven minutes in the morning and in the evening. At the end of May, on the other hand, it takes almost three hours after sunset before it is really dark.

The longer the twilight lasts, the more clearly the blue hour becomes noticeable. This is the name of the moment towards the end of civil twilight, when the sun is about six degrees (three fingers' breadth) below the horizon. The sky is then just as bright as the artificial lighting. This creates a very even illumination that makes the blue hour so magical and popular with photographers.

In the morning, too, the twilight time is extended by three quarters of an hour. As a result, the nights shrink more than the days grow: The really dark night lasts a good five hours at the beginning of the month, from twenty to eleven to a quarter to four, but at the end of May only a little over two hours, from shortly after midnight to a quarter past two o'clock.

The white nights begin

The sun is so far north in May that it does not sink deep below Bavaria's horizon at night. And the further north you travel, the shorter the night becomes - and the brighter it becomes. In Flensburg it doesn't get really dark all night from the end of May, in Oslo even from the beginning of May. A bit north of the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn't set anymore, that's where the polar day began. The midnight sun is now shining on the North Cape and Svalbard. At the North Pole, the time has long since come: there, half a year goes by from sunrise to sunset, from March to September.

In Bavaria there are no really white nights in which there is at most civil twilight all night. But even with us, the sun only sinks a little below the horizon after sunset, and that late. At the end of May it doesn't get really dark in Bavaria until around midnight, and even then the sun is only two hands below the horizon. A nightmare for stargazers, luckily you can see stars and planets for at least a few hours. And a little consolation: The time of the White Nights can cause a very special phenomenon in the night sky, the glowing night clouds.

On its journey through the constellations, the sun will step from the constellation Aries to Taurus on May 14th. The two constellations are outshone by sunlight and you cannot see them in May - but there are many others that are worthwhile. Astrologically, she is one sign further and reaches Gemini on May 21st. Because horoscopes are not based on the real position of the sun. In the firmament, however, she still needs a month for this. In the last ten days of May the sun passes through the so-called "Golden Gate of the Ecliptic" - the pillars of which form the star clusters of the Pleiades and Hyades.

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  • The beginning of spring - the sun returns. IQ - Science and Research, March 1st, 2021 at 6:05 p.m., Bavaria 2
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