Twilight: Also known as "Dawn" preceding Sunrise and "Dusk" following Sunset. There are three kinds of twilight defined: civil twilight, nautical twilight, and astronomical twilight. For computational purposes, civil twilight begins before sunrise and ends after sunset when the geometric zenith distance of the center of the Sun is 96 degrees - 6 degrees below a horizontal plane. The corresponding solar zenith distances for nautical and astronomical twilight are 102 and 108 degrees, respectively. That is, at the dark limit of nautical twilight, the center of the Sun is geometrically 12 degrees below a horizontal plane; and at the dark limit of astronomical twilight, the center of the Sun is geometrically 18 degrees below a horizontal plane.
Sunrise and sunset: For computational purposes, sunrise or sunset is defined to occur when the geometric zenith distance of center of the Sun is 90.8333 degrees. That is, the center of the Sun is geometrically 50 arcminutes below a horizontal plane. For an observer at sea level with a level, unobstructed horizon, under average atmospheric conditions, the upper limb of the Sun will then appear to be tangent to the horizon. The 50-arcminute geometric depression of the Sun's center used for the computations is obtained by adding the average apparent radius of the Sun (16 arcminutes) to the average amount of atmospheric refraction at the horizon (34 arcminutes).
Accuracy of rise/set computations: The times of rise and set phenomena cannot be precisely computed, because, in practice, the actual times depend on unpredictable atmospheric conditions that affect the amount of refraction at the horizon. Thus, even under ideal conditions (e.g., a clear sky at sea) the times computed for rise or set may be in error by a minute or more. Local topography (e.g., mountains on the horizon) and the height of the observer can affect the times of rise or set even more. It is not practical to attempt to include such effects in routine rise/set computations.