How Long Does Sunrise And Sunset Last?

The exact duration of sunrise and sunset varies depending on your location, time of year, and the sun’s angle. Generally speaking, sunrise and sunset can last between two and five minutes.

Sunrise and sunset are two of the most beautiful moments in nature. They allow us to witness the changing colors of the sky and marvel at the beauty of our planet. But just how long does sunrise and sunset last?

Duration of Sunrise And Sunset

How long sunrise and sunset last vary by season, location, and the observer’s altitude. Generally, when you observe the sunset or sunrise, you will feel that it is taking 20 to 30 minutes to rise or set fully. But from a technical point of view, the duration usually varies around 2 to 5 minutes based on several factors.

One of the main factors affecting sunrise and sunset duration is latitude. At the equator (0-degree latitude), it takes around 2.5 minutes for sunrise and sunset. On the other hand, in higher latitudes such as 50-degree latitude or near the poles, it takes much longer (around 5 minutes or more) for the sun to fully rise or set.

Some other factors affect the duration of sunrise and sunset. The time of year affects the length of a sunset or sunrise, as do atmospheric conditions and elevation.

Why Do Sunrise and Sunset Feel Longer?

Even though the exact duration of sunrise and sunset may be brief, they both can give us a feeling that they last much longer. This is simply because of atmospheric diffraction. As sunlight shines through the atmosphere, it is refracted by particles in the air. This diffraction creates a circular halo around the sun.

When we observe a sunrise or sunset, this halo makes it appear as if the sun is rising and setting very slowly. This phenomenon also creates beautiful colors in the sky that are associated with sunrises and sunsets.


Sunrise and sunset can be some of the most beautiful moments of the day. Although they may feel like they last quite a while, in reality, they usually only take between two to five minutes to fully rise or set. Different factors, such as latitude and atmospheric conditions, can affect how long sunrise and sunset last. No matter where you are in the world, take the time to appreciate these magical moments!