See a Double Sunset

sunsetA couple of years ago, I asked the question, can you see across Lake Michigan. The answer is no, but a related question is whether you can see the sunset more than once in 24 hours. The answer to that question is, yes. For example, astronauts in the International Space Station are traveling so fast at such a height, that they see sixteen sunrises and sunsets in a 24-hour period.


The world’s tallest structures: 2560 BCE to Present. Note that for about 4,500 years the Great Pyramid at Giza was the tallest structure in the world — until the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889.

It is possible, however, to see multiple sunsets right here on Earth. The world’s tallest building is the Burj Khalifa — Dubai’s 160-floor, 2,722 foot glass, steel, aluminum, and concrete behemoth. The Burj Khalifa is so tall that the timing of the sunset is affected and requires a special schedule during Ramadan. Residents above the 80th floor must wait two extra minutes before breaking their fast at sundown. Residents above the 150th floor must wait three minutes. In fact, it could be possible to watch the sunset at ground level and then take a fast elevator to the top and watch the sunset a second time. Fear not, however, you don’t even need to travel to the Middle East to go on your double-sunset date. You could, instead, travel to the beach and watch the sunset while lying down (water is better, because terrain is not flat enough). Immediately after the sun passes below the horizon, jump up, and a portion of the sun will still be visible, making it possible to see the sunset twice.

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