Representational image

(Babak Tafreshi/NASA/APOD)

Whether it’s a lover, a close pal, or even your own children or parents, having someone you love move away can be painful, to say the least. But perhaps one of the most excruciating parts of this ordeal can be the sense of disconnection arising from living in differing time zones. If you’ve been feeling this way recently, we have some news that could help lend you a momentary sense of congruence once again.

According to’s calculations, tonight (December 6) is shaping up to be an exceptional night, since about 85% of the world’s population will experience nighttime simultaneously for a brief moment. This is because the Earth’s orientation to the Sun will leave most of Asia, Europe and Africa — which account for most of the global population — in the shadows.

This global “black-out” will occur at 1:26 AM, Indian Standard Time. This means that if you wanted to stare at the stars with your UK-based partner, you’d only have to be awake a little after midnight to pursue this romantic endeavour.

Asia alone holds the share of 60% of the world’s population, so it is no wonder that its inclusion into the shadows plays a considerable role in this feat. In comparison, both North and South America (which will be illuminated during this time) only contribute about 13% combined. There might, of course, be subtle discrepancies in these numbers due to the dynamics of population migrations.

All in all, if we consider the strictest definition of nighttime, where the Sun falls 18° below the horizon, tonight comes out as the clear winner. However, if we consider what “feels like” nighttime — which includes some part of twilight as well — December 27 comes out as a worthy contender to steal the throne of darkness. On that date, 86% of the Earth will experience perceived nighttime simultaneously!


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