At the North Pole of the Earth, observations of the Sun are carried out at the moments of the spring and autumn equinoxes.

At the North Pole of the Earth, observations of the Sun are carried out at the moments of the spring and autumn equinoxes. When will the Sun be visible higher above the horizon? The value of atmospheric pressure shall be considered the same in both cases.

If the Earth did not have an atmosphere, at the moments of both equinoxes at the North Pole, the center of the Sun’s disk would be exactly on the horizon. In reality, the Sun is higher due to atmospheric refraction – the refraction of light rays as it enters the increasingly dense layers of the atmosphere. The magnitude of refraction depends on atmospheric conditions, increasing with the density of air, which, in turn, at constant atmospheric pressure, increases with decreasing temperature. During the vernal equinox, it is colder at the north pole, and at equal pressure, the Sun will be seen slightly higher than at the autumn equinox.

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