Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is it possible to calculate the candle lighting time based on location and date alone?

Assume all you have is a GPS, a watch and a calculator.

share|improve this question
    
Mordechai Ben Daniel, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for the interesting question! I look forward to seeing you around. –  Isaac Moses Dec 1 '10 at 20:08

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Theoretically yes (assuming candle lighting is just 18 minutes less than sunset), as here's the formula for sunset time based on date, latitude, and longitude; but it's a doozy!

share|improve this answer
1  
Interesting that no one adjusts the 18 minutes. –  YDK Dec 1 '10 at 21:43
1  
Excellent. Thanks! –  מרדכי בן דניאל Dec 2 '10 at 0:31
1  
what about altitude? –  Sam Dec 2 '10 at 2:14
    
@YDK - adjust it for what? IIUC, the 18 minutes are a sort of buffer zone to ensure that Shabbos won't be violated. That doesn't change depending on where a person is located. –  Dave Dec 2 '10 at 3:47
1  
@Sam - Unless you're way above sea level, like in an airplane, altitude won't have a significant effect on the time of sunset. A more complicated question is how to deal with mountainous terrain; see this link for a comprehensive discussion about it: chaitables.com/chaiintro.html –  Dave Dec 2 '10 at 4:25

Keep in mind that one is not allowed to start Shabos at a later time than the community's latest starting time. So if you "prove" that candle lighting should be 3 minutes later than the time that the community lights, you still can not start Shabos later than when the community does if you proof is not accepted. But if you are on the road or stuck in an airport outside of a city, start calculating - You may even want to use Rabeinu Tam time :-)

share|improve this answer
    
Although that's going to be at the end of kabbolas shabbos/borchu which is usually after that time. –  YDK Dec 6 '10 at 7:44

Also can Be done With myzmanim.com

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.