Twilight is the time between dawn and sunrise or between sunset and dusk, during which sunlight scattering in the upper atmosphere illuminates the lower atmosphere, and the surface of the earth is neither completely lit nor completely dark. The sun itself is not directly visible because it is below the horizon. Owing to the distinctive quality of the ambient light at this time, twilight has long been popular with photographers, who refer to it as Sweet Light, and painters, who refer to it as the "blue hour", after the French expression l'heure bleue.
The collateral adjective for twilight is crepuscular; it is most frequently encountered when applied to certain insects, fishes, and mammals that are most active during that time.
Famous quotes containing the word twilight:
“Be near me when I fade away,
To point the term of human strife,
And on the low dark verge of life
The twilight of eternal day.”
—Alfred Tennyson (18091892)
“But we still remember ... above all, the cool, free aspect of the wild apple trees, generously proffering their fruit to us, though still green and crude,the hard, round, glossy fruit, which, if not ripe, still was not poison, but New English too, brought hither, its ancestors, by ours once. These gentler trees imparted a half-civilized and twilight aspect to the otherwise barbarian land.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Love that had robbed us of immortal things,
This little moment mercifully gave,
Where I have seen across the twilight wave
The swan sail with her young beneath her wings.”
—George Meredith (18281909)