Tag Archives: solar

Sunset on El Capitan Bridge

I set up a Suncurves page today for El Capitan Bridge, the best photo location in Yosemite, according to Gary Hart. Here’s what the horizon looks like from that point, and how the sun moves across the sky today, April 8th:

Skjermbilde 2016-04-08 kl. 08.53.02

You see El Capitan itself in the right part of the image (looking North/Northwest from the bridge), and the formations near the center of the image are the Cathedral Rocks.

If you visit the Suncurves analysis for this location, you can choose any day of the year and see when the sun rises and sets on that particular day. Invaluable for planning a photo shoot or just a visit to this amazing spot.

If you like this, you can see a map of sunset times for all of Yosemite here:

Zoom in or pan around, but note that this is just for one day (the longest day of the year).

You can also set up analyses like the one for El Capitan bridge for any other location. Since we use global terrain height data, we mean any location.

It’s easy to do this. Visit our site, enter an address, and let us do the rest. What you get is a page like this (click on the picture to see an example for Boulder, Colorado):

Skjermbilde 2016-04-04 kl. 10.33.47

The free version gives you a limited amount of information, but it still gives you a good overview. When you pay for a full version, you also get to download a complimentary PDF calendar with sunrise and sunset times for each day of the year on just one page. Here’s an example for a more mountainous place, Banff in Canada (click to view in more detail):


Besides getting the daily data, you can also see what the terrain looks like in a 360-degree panoramic view from your location, as well as the paths that the sun follows in midsummer, midwinter, and on the equinoxes.

So get one or more sunlight analyses for free today. We hope to see you on our site!

Interactive sun map for Bergen

We’ve created this map for Bergen, Norway:

What’s shown here is the local sunset time for 21 June 2016 for every 100 meter or so. You can get the sunset time for any day of the year and for any location or address worldwide by performing a search at suncurves.com. If you register (which is free), you can get a lot of information for free, so try us out today!

Predicted sunset 17:41, observed sunset 17:41

I watched the sun set from my rooftop today and just had to take a picture. The direction is pretty much due south, and the sun is about to set over the mountain called Løvstakken (“the stack of leaves”, so called due to its shape, I guess).

The top picture shows the horizon as seen from my rooftop just before sunset today. The graph is a zoomed view of the computed horizon at suncurves.com.

The top picture shows the horizon as seen from my rooftop just before sunset today. The graph is a zoomed view of the computed horizon at suncurves.com.

The clear weather also enabled me to do some on-the-spot verification of the suncurves.com computations. My colleague Paul and I have made a program that computes the apparent horizon from any location worldwide. This horizon is then combined with data for the sun’s path across the sky. The intersections between the two define the times for sunrise and sunset for any day of the year. Our data is obviously a lot more accurate than the standard sunrise/sunset times that you find elsewhere on the web.

But just how accurate are our calculations? Today our program said that the sun would set at 17:41 (see the table in the picture), and that was spot-on for today. We’ve seen that our times are usually with a 5-minute margin of error. When you accumulate that over a full year, which we do to compute what we call a sun index, the results are very very reliable.

If you’d like, you can find your own sunset and sunrise times for places that you care about. The site is free to use as long as you register. Go on, give it a try in our location finder. Or click here to find a list of our demo pages for sites around the world.

And tell your friends about it if you like it – we think a lot of people out there would think that this is cool.

Sun returns to Longyearbyen, Svalbard

After a long, dark polar night, the sun finally returned to Longyearbyen, Svalbard today. According to our calculations, the sun had been away since 6 October at the old hospital staircase. Now the hospital is gone, but the stairs have been left standing to mark the spot where the inhabitants celebrate the annual return of the sun.

This is what the sun curve for today looks like for that particular spot:

Sun curve for Longyearbyen

Click on the picture to see the full sun stats. The picture shows the 360-degree horizon the way we’ve computed it, as well as the sun’s path throughout the day. As you can see, it barely shows over the mountains in two bursts just after noon.

Our unique method allows for such computations for virtually any location worldwide. Just go to our location finder, type an address and let us compute the horizon and the sun curves on the fly. One of the things we do is to compute the accurate sunrise and sunset times for each day of the year. It’s free, and it’s a very useful tool if you’re buying a house or a plot. Thanks in advance for sharing!

Sun info for house buyers

We believe that prospective house buyers care about the sunniness of the property they’re considering. For instance, they would probably like to know when the latest sunset of the year occurs. And the earliest sunrise?

Sunrise and sunset times can be found on many web sites, but they don’t take shading from nearby hills and mountains into account. And in mountainous regions that matters a lot. So with our background in meteorology, we thought: why don’t we just compute it?

Almost a year later, we’ve now set up a free web site where you can enter any address worldwide, and we’ll compute the actual horizon in a second or two. Here’s what it looks like for the best hotel in the world (according to TripAdvisor):

Sun curves for the Grand Hotel Kronenhof, Switzerland

The picture is taken from the web page that we’ve created specifically for the Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina, Switzerland, and it shows the 360-degrees horizon as it would look like from the hotel. The path that the sun follows on 21 June 2014 is also shown, along with a table with the key “sun facts” for that day.

You can get a similar page for your own house, cabin, hut, favorite lookout spot or anywhere in the world. Click here to search for it!

You get all the key facts (latest sunrise, average number of sun hours, the number of sun hours that are “lost” due to terrain shading etc.), and we also compute your sun index. This is simply the percentage of sun that you get compared to what you would get if the horizon was completely flat. If the sun index is 50 %, the terrain “steals” half your potential sunlight. We also break down the sun index into monthly values and we compute it separately for the morning and the afternoon.

Here’s what (the top part of) our “location views” look like:

Skjermbilde 2014-02-05 kl. 21.12.26

All this for free. We plan to sell PDF modules for agents to use in their brochures, but for personal users, such as house owners or house buyers, our web site is completely free to use. Why, you may ask. It took us a loooong time to compute all this, but for now we just want as many people as possible to know about this. So go ahead and share this on Facebook or Twitter if you like what we’re doing. Thanks!