World Sunlight Map

Watch the sun rise and set all over the world on this real-time,
computer-generated illustration of the earth’s patterns of sunlight and
darkness. The clouds are updated daily with current weather
satellite imagery.

The Mercator projection used here is one way of looking at the spherical
earth as a flat map. Used since the 16th century for navigation, straight
lines on this map can be used accurately as compass bearings but the size and
shape of continents are distorted. Compare this
with Peters, Mollweide or equirectangular projection maps.

Also available is a semi-realistic view of dawn and dusk from far above the Earth, a
look at the moon, and information about how this works.

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