Just How Far North Is The Sun Setting?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Reed from Bothell wondered just how far north of west on the compass does the sun set as we reach the longest days of the year?

Back on June 20 (the summer solstice this year), the sun set in Seattle at 305 degrees. On the equinoxes, the sun will set at due west, and on the winter solstice, the sun will set at 235 degrees on the compass heading.

As for how high the sun gets above the horizon at noon, for summer solstice time, the sun reaches 66 degrees at its peak. For the equinoxes, it's 42.5 degrees, and for winter solstice, it's a low 19 degrees.

You can figure that out by taking your latitude (for Seattle, it's about 47.5 degrees) and subtracting it from 90. That number is the sun's altitude at noon on the equinox. Add 23.5 degrees for summer and subtract it for winter.

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