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v1.0.0 Public


SunCalc is a tiny ColdFusion (Lucee) library for calculating sun position, sunlight phases (times for sunrise, sunset, dusk, etc.), moon position and lunar phase for the given location and time, created by Scott Steinbeck (@scottsteinbeck) as a part of the project.

Most calculations are based on the formulas given in the excellent Astronomy Answers articles about position of the sun and the planets. You can read about different twilight phases calculated by SunCalc in the Twilight article on Wikipedia.


  • Lucee 5+ or Adobe ColdFusion 10+
  • ColdBox 4.3+
  • Java 8+

Usage example

// get today's sunlight times for London
var times = SunCalc.getTimes(now(), 51.5, -0.1);

// format sunrise time from the Date object
var sunriseStr = times.sunrise.getHours() + ":" + times.sunrise.getMinutes();

// get position of the sun (azimuth and altitude) at today's sunrise
var sunrisePos = SunCalc.getPosition(times.sunrise, 51.5, -0.1);

// get sunrise azimuth in degrees
var sunriseAzimuth = (sunrisePos.azimuth * 180) / Math.PI;

SunCalc is also available as an Forgebox package:

$ box install suncalc

Get an instance of DateUtility from WireBox:

property name="suncalc" inject="[email protected]";
var SunCalc = CreateObject("component", "suncalc");


Sunlight times

  /*Date*/ date,
  /*Number*/ latitude,
  /*Number*/ longitude,
  /*Number (default=0)*/ height

Returns an object with the following properties (each is a Date object):

sunrisesunrise (top edge of the sun appears on the horizon)
sunriseEndsunrise ends (bottom edge of the sun touches the horizon)
goldenHourEndmorning golden hour (soft light, best time for photography) ends
solarNoonsolar noon (sun is in the highest position)
goldenHourevening golden hour starts
sunsetStartsunset starts (bottom edge of the sun touches the horizon)
sunsetsunset (sun disappears below the horizon, evening civil twilight starts)
duskdusk (evening nautical twilight starts)
nauticalDusknautical dusk (evening astronomical twilight starts)
nightnight starts (dark enough for astronomical observations)
nadirnadir (darkest moment of the night, sun is in the lowest position)
nightEndnight ends (morning astronomical twilight starts)
nauticalDawnnautical dawn (morning nautical twilight starts)
dawndawn (morning nautical twilight ends, morning civil twilight starts)
  /*Number*/ angleInDegrees,
  /*String*/ morningName,
  /*String*/ eveningName

Adds a custom time when the sun reaches the given angle to results returned by SunCalc.getTimes.

SunCalc.times property contains all currently defined times.

Sun position

  /*Date*/ timeAndDate,
  /*Number*/ latitude,
  /*Number*/ longitude

Returns an object with the following properties:

  • altitude: sun altitude above the horizon in radians, e.g. 0 at the horizon and PI/2 at the zenith (straight over your head)
  • azimuth: sun azimuth in radians (direction along the horizon, measured from south to west), e.g. 0 is south and Math.PI * 3/4 is northwest

Moon position

  /*Date*/ timeAndDate,
  /*Number*/ latitude,
  /*Number*/ longitude

Returns an object with the following properties:

  • altitude: moon altitude above the horizon in radians
  • azimuth: moon azimuth in radians
  • distance: distance to moon in kilometers
  • parallacticAngle: parallactic angle of the moon in radians

Moon illumination

SunCalc.getMoonIllumination(/*Date*/ timeAndDate);

Returns an object with the following properties:

  • fraction: illuminated fraction of the moon; varies from 0.0 (new moon) to 1.0 (full moon)
  • phase: moon phase; varies from 0.0 to 1.0, described below
  • angle: midpoint angle in radians of the illuminated limb of the moon reckoned eastward from the north point of the disk; the moon is waxing if the angle is negative, and waning if positive

Moon phase value should be interpreted like this:

0New Moon
Waxing Crescent
0.25First Quarter
Waxing Gibbous
0.5Full Moon
Waning Gibbous
0.75Last Quarter
Waning Crescent

By subtracting the parallacticAngle from the angle one can get the zenith angle of the moons bright limb (anticlockwise). The zenith angle can be used do draw the moon shape from the observers perspective (e.g. moon lying on its back).

Moon rise and set times

SunCalc.getMoonTimes(/*Date*/ date, /*Number*/ latitude, /*Number*/ longitude[, inUTC])

Returns an object with the following properties:

  • rise: moonrise time as Date
  • set: moonset time as Date
  • alwaysUp: true if the moon never rises/sets and is always above the horizon during the day
  • alwaysDown: true if the moon is always below the horizon

By default, it will search for moon rise and set during local user's day (frou 0 to 24 hours). If inUTC is set to true, it will instead search the specified date from 0 to 24 UTC hours.


1.0.0 — Jul 10, 2020

  • First commit.

Dependencies (0)

Dev Dependencies (0)

$ box install SunCalc

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