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Calculations for the position of the sun

Project description

Astral is a python module for calculating the times of various aspects of the sun.

It calculates the following

The time in the morning when the sun is a specific number of degrees below the horizon.
The time in the morning when the top of the sun breaks the horizon (asuming a location with no obscuring features.)
Solar Noon
The time when the sun is at its highest point.
The time in the evening when the sun is about to disappear below the horizon (asuming a location with no obscuring features.)
The time in the evening when the sun is a specific number of degrees below the horizon.
Solar Azimuth
The number of degrees clockwise from North at which the sun can be seen
Solar Elevation
The number of degrees up from the horizon at which the sun can be seen
“Rahukaalam or the period of Rahu is a certain amount of time every day that is considered inauspicious for any new venture according to Indian astrology”.


The following example demonstrates the functionality available in the module

import datetime
from astral import Astral

city_name = 'London'

a = Astral()
a.solar_depression = 'civil'

city = a[city_name]

print('Information for %s/%s\n' % (city_name,

timezone = city.timezone
print('Timezone: %s' % timezone)

print('Latitude: %.02f; Longitude: %.02f\n' % \
    (city.latitude, city.longitude))

sun = city.sun(, 4, 22), local=True)
print('Dawn:    %s' % str(sun['dawn']))
print('Sunrise: %s' % str(sun['sunrise']))
print('Noon:    %s' % str(sun['noon']))
print('Sunset:  %s' % str(sun['sunset']))
print('Dusk:    %s' % str(sun['dusk']))

Produces the following output:

Information for London/England

Timezone: Europe/London
Latitude: 51.60; Longitude: 0.08

Dawn:     2009-04-22 05:12:56+01:00
Sunrise:  2009-04-22 05:49:36+01:00
Noon:     2009-04-22 12:58:48+01:00
Sunset:   2009-04-22 20:09:07+01:00
Dusk:     2009-04-22 20:45:52+01:00


This module is licensed under the terms of the MIT license.


Astral has one external dependency on ‘pytz’ which can either be obtained from Sourceforge page or via the easy_install method, whichever is your particular poison.


When you’ve added the pytz package to install astral unzip the archive to a handy location and execute the standard Python installation method:

python install


The module includes location and time zone data for the following cities. The list includes all capital cities plus some from the UK.

Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Adelaide, Al Jubail, Algiers, Amman, Amsterdam, Andorra la Vella, Ankara, Antananarivo, Apia, Ashgabat, Asmara, Astana, Asuncion, Athens, Baghdad, Baku, Bamako, Bandar Seri Begawan, Bangkok, Bangui, Banjul, Basse-Terre, Basseterre, Beijing, Beirut, Belgrade, Belmopan, Berlin, Bern, Birmingham, Bishkek, Bissau, Bloemfontein, Bogota, Bolton, Bradford, Brasilia, Bratislava, Brazzaville, Bridgetown, Brisbane, Bristol, Brussels, Bucharest, Bucuresti, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Bujumbura, Cairo, Canberra, Cape Town, Caracas, Cardiff, Castries, Cayenne, Charlotte Amalie, Chisinau, Conakry, Copenhagen, Cotonou, Crawley, Dakar, Damascus, Dammam, Dhaka, Dili, Djibouti, Dodoma, Doha, Dublin, Dushanbe, Edinburgh, Fort-de-France, Freetown, Funafuti, Gaborone, George Town, Georgetown, Glasgow, Guatemala, Hanoi, Harare, Havana, Helsinki, Hobart, Honiara, Islamabad, Jakarta, Jerusalem, Jubail, Kabul, Kampala, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Kiev, Kigali, Kingston, Kingstown, Kinshasa, Koror, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, La Paz, Leeds, Leicester, Libreville, Lilongwe, Lima, Lisbon, Liverpool, Ljubljana, Lome, London, Luanda, Lusaka, Luxembourg, Macau, Madinah, Madrid, Makkah, Malabo, Male, Mamoudzou, Managua, Manama, Manchester, Manila, Maputo, Maseru, Masqat, Mbabane, Mecca, Medina, Mexico, Minsk, Mogadishu, Monrovia, Montevideo, Moroni, Moscow, Moskva, N’Djamena, Nairobi, Nassau, New Delhi, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Time, Niamey, Nicosia, Norwich, Nouakchott, Noumea, Nuku’alofa, Nuuk, Oranjestad, Oslo, Ottawa, Ouagadougou, Oxford, P’yongyang, Pago Pago, Palikir, Panama, Papeete, Paramaribo, Paris, Perth, Phnom Penh, Plymouth, Port Moresby, Port-Vila, Port-au-Prince, Porto-Novo, Portsmouth, Prague, Praia, Pretoria, Quito, Reading, Reykjavik, Riga, Riyadh, Road Town, Rome, Roseau, Saint Pierre, Saipan, San Jose, San Juan, San Marino, San Salvador, Santiago, Santo Domingo, Sao Tome, Sarajevo, Seoul, Sheffield, Skopje, Sofia, Southampton, St. Peter Port, Stanley, Stockholm, Sucre, Suva, Swansea, Swindon, Sydney, T’bilisi, Tallinn, Tarawa, Tashkent, Tegucigalpa, Tehran, Thimphu, Tirane, Torshavn, Tripoli, Tunis, Vaduz, Valletta, Vienna, Vientiane, Vilnius, W. Indies, Warsaw, Washington DC, Wellington, Willemstad, Windhoek, Wolverhampton, Yamoussoukro, Yangon, Yaounde, Yerevan, Zagreb


The sun calculations in this module were adapted, for Python, from the following spreadsheet.

Which takes its calculations from

Also to Sphinx for making doc generation an easy thing (not that the writing of the docs is any easier.)


Simon Kennedy <>

Version History

Version Description
0.1 First release

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