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Why is it that it gets darker in Eretz Yisroel quicker than in the USA, making for a shorter Ben Hash'moshos?

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While I see value in this question, it's not clear to me how this is more on topic than this question. – Seth J Jun 26 '12 at 14:40
up vote 13 down vote accepted

Generally (without considering many other factors which may be involved) the closer the latitude is to the poles [i.e. the absolute value of the latitude is greater], the longer the sunset.

(see table at this pdf (last page) and this piece of mail for more factors)

Therefore: Latitude at NY, NY = 40.7 Latitude at Jerusalem, IL = 31.78 NY, NY is closer to the poles, hence longer sunset.

Hope I understood the question and got the right answer...

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To elaborate on yydl's answer: The level of darkness in the sky at a particular moment depends on the sun's position below the horizon, which is measured in degrees. Now, unless you are at the equator, the sun always sets at an angle, corresponding to your latitude (e.g., in NY the path will be inclined 40 degrees from vertical). The higher the latitude, the larger the angle - and the larger the angle, the longer it will take for the sun to reach a given number of degrees below the horizon. It's like crossing a street -- if you cross at an angle, it will take longer to get to the other side. – Dave Oct 8 '10 at 4:41
@Dave: I like that answer. You should make it your own answer, so that I can vote you up and give you reputation points. – Chanoch Oct 8 '10 at 15:02
@Chanoch - thanks, but it's fine this way. – Dave Oct 8 '10 at 17:12

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