SUNRISE and Time Zones

Timeglass Journal

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SUNRISE and Time Zones

An Observation by Jim Lantern in Reno Nevada

Posted 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time – Thursday 21 May 2015



List of Time Zones by Country – Wikipedia article.

The World Clock

The clock is 24 hours. Earth has 24 time zones. The circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles. Because time zones are based on degrees of longitude (which are 360 imaginary lines running vertically around the planet from the North Pole to the South Pole) the distance between them changes as you move towards or away from the equator. So the width in miles of a time zone depends on how far north or south you are. If you in any city near the equator, like Nairobi, Kenya, each time zone is about 1,035 miles wide. But if you’re at somewhere more north like Winnepeg, Canada, the time zone would only be about 675 miles wide.

The time of sunrise will be different (sooner) in a city near the east side of a time zone compared to a city on the west side of a time zone.

Consider Chicago closer to the east side of the Central Time Zone. Today, for example, scroll down at…

…Sunrise was at 5:26 a.m. Central Time.

I was born in Wichita Kansas (1956), which is closer to the west side than the east side of the Central Time Zone in the US. Today, for example, scroll down at…

…Sunrise was 6:16 a.m. Central Time.

The sunrise time difference between Chicago and Wichita is 50 minutes – nearly an hour – even though both are in the same time zone!


Compared to Reno Nevada, where I now live, which is near the center of the Pacific Time Zone. Today, for example, scroll down at…

…Sunrise was at 5:41 a.m. Pacific Time.

So if in Wichita I’d see the sunrise 35 minutes later on the local clock there than the sunrise here in Reno on the local clock.

Even that much makes a difference to the “biological clock” of the body. Not only the 2-hour difference between the Central Time Zone and the Pacific Time Zone, but also where you live within the time zone. After moving from Norman Oklahoma to Reno Nevada, arrived night of Monday May 4, I noticed the slightly earlier sunrise on the local clock Tuesday morning May 5. I presently live in a low monthly rate kitchenette motel on the edge of downtown Reno, where my window faces the sunrise… so I get awakened by the earlier sunrise earlier than what I’m used to from when I lived in Norman for the past 7 years.

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