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twilight, period between sunset and total darkness or between total darkness and sunrise. Total darkness does not occur immediately when the sun sinks below the horizon because light from the sun that strikes the atmosphere is scattered (both by the air itself and by suspended matter, e.g., dust and smoke). Civil twilight ends when the center of the sun is 6° below the horizon. Although it is still not very dark, it is necessary to use artificial light to carry out most activities. Nautical twilight ends when the sun's center is 12° below the horizon; at about this time the light is too dim for the user of a sextant to see a sharp horizon. Astronomical twilight ends when the sun's center is 18° below the horizon; by this time even the faintest stars overhead can be seen. (Similar definitions apply to morning twilight.) During twilight, Venus or Mercury is often seen as the evening star or morning star. The length of twilight depends on latitude and the time of year. Twilight is generally shorter at the equator, where the sun's path toward the horizon is more nearly vertical than at higher latitudes; typically, astronomical twilight may last for 1 hr at the equator and 11-2 hr in New York City.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


(twÿ -lÿt) The time preceding sunrise and following sunset when the sky is partly illuminated. Civil twilight is the interval when the true zenith distance (referred to the Earth's center) of the center of the Sun's disk is between 90°50′ and 96°, nautical twilight is the interval between 96° and 102°, and astronomical twilight is that between 102° and 108°. During nautical twilight, the sea horizon can be seen and the brightest stars are visible; during astronomical twilight, 6th-magnitude stars are just visible at the zenith in a clear sky.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006


(pop culture)

TWILIGHT is the name under which individuals involved in vampirism along with people who have a serious and academic interest in it have gathered to engage in serious discussion about the nature of vampirism and the issues dominating the new vampire community. TWILIGHT was founded in September of 2007 by a vampire known by his public name Daemonox, he is currently (2009) assisted by another vampire known as Merticus. TWILIGHT happens as a roaming event held two to three times annually as expenses allow. To date all the events have been in the United States, but sites in other countries are under consideration.

Participation in TWILIGHT’s events are by invitation following thorough screening, in order to ensure the events, quality, integrity, and success. The immediate goal of TWILIGHT is to engage the vampire community in serious discussion, knowledge exchange, and social networking. A longer term goal is transform TWILIGHT into a roaming event across the United States and beyond.

TWILIGHT conferences I-III were held in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Seattle. Future conferences are in the planning stages as this encyclopedia goes to press. TWILIGHT has a webpage at


Laycock, Joseph. Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism. Westport. CT: Praeger, 2009. 200 pp.

Twilight (Movie)

(pop culture)

The movie Twilight was based upon the first novel of the same name in the four-book “Twilight” series by author Stephenie Meyer. The novel was adapted for the screen by Melissa Rosenberg (co-executive producer and writer on TV’s The O.C. and Dexter) and directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Lords of Dogtown and The Nativity Story). The movie stars Kristin Stewart as 17-year-old Isabella (Bella) Swan and Robert Pattinson as Bella’s vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen. The movie cost an estimated $37 million and was released in U.S. theaters by Summit Entertainment on November 21, 2008.

The movie Twilight, which follows the novel’s basic story line and essential themes, begins when teenager Bella Swan leaves Phoenix, Arizona, to move to the small town of Forks, Washington, to live with her father, Charlie. At Forks High School, she finds herself drawn to a mysterious classmate, Edward Cullen, who is a 108-year-old vampire but is physically only seventeen years old. Although Edward discourages the romance at first, he soon falls in love with Bella and allows himself to be with her, knowing he can’t live without her. Edward and his family are “vegetarian vampires” who feed off animal rather than human blood. But the arrival of three nomadic vampires, James, Victoria, and Laurent, puts Bella’s life in danger because they feed off humans. Edward and his family, Alice, Carlisle, Esme, Jasper, Emmett and Rosalie, attempt to save Bella by fighting to keep the lethal tracker James from killing her.

Meyer’s novel was first optioned by Paramount Pictures’ MTV Films in April 2004. According to director Hardwicke, Paramount’s screenplay was substantially different from the original novel, with Bella introduced as a star athlete. When Paramount’s rights to the project were about to expire, Summit Entertainment pursued it. Screenwriter Rosenberg attempted to stay as close to the book as possible but had to condense the dialogue and combine some of the characters. As Hardwicke explained, “So we kept to the [novel’s] spirit. But there are changes.” Meyer worked closely with Summit during the script’s development. She drew up a list of rules for her vampire world that could not be changed and made her own suggestions on the script.

In an MTV interview, Rosenberg explained that Brokeback Mountain (2005), the story of two gay cowboys who fall in love, actually provided her with a great model of poignancy and forbidden love between Bella and Edward. Rosenberg remained true to Twilight‘s emotions and spirit but did change a number of the novel’s key passages. The villainous vampires (Victoria, James, and Laurent) were introduced much earlier in the film than in the book. The movie’s scenes of dinner at the Cullen’s house and Bella and Edward jumping out to the treetops were not in the book. Likewise, the novel’s scene in the biology room where the students do blood typing and Bella faints is not in the movie. In the book, Bella reveals that she knows he is a vampire while in Edward’s car driving back from Port Angeles, but the movie instead provides a more visually dynamic setting of a lush forest and meadow.

Principal photography for Twilight took forty-four days. Portland and Vernonia, Oregon, served as locations for the Forks, Washington, setting of the novel, and St. Helens, Oregon, stood in for the small town of Port Angeles. A year after its initial release, the film grossed $191 million in North America and more than $384 million in worldwide box office. In addition, more than nine million DVDs of Twilight have been sold. Twilight won five MTV Movie Awards as well as ten Teen Choice Awards. A graphic novel form of the movie is scheduled to be published by Yen Press with Korean artist Young Kim creating the art and Meyer herself closely involved with the project.

Twilight’s movie sequels The Twilight Saga: New Moon was released in U.S. theaters November 20, 2009, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is scheduled for release the summer of 2010. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final novel in the Twilight series, is currently (2009) in development for a 2011 release.


Charaipotra, Sona. “Exclusive Interview: Twilight Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg.” Posted at (October 14, 2008). Accessed on April 8, 2010.
Cotta Vaz, Mark. Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2008. 141 pp.
Hardwicke, Catherine. Twilight: Director’s Notebook: The Story of How We Made the Movie Based on the Novel by Stephenie Meyer. New York: Little, Brown Young Readers, 2009. 176 pp.
Martin, Denise. “Twilight Countdown: Catherine Hardwicke Talks about the Meadow and Making Robert Pattinson ‘Dazzle.’” (November 4, 2008).
Murray, Rebecca. “Interview with Twilight Author Stephenie Meyer.” (November 11, 2008). Posted at Accessed on April 8, 2010.
The Vampire Book, Second Edition © 2011 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an optical phenomenon observed in the atmosphere before sunrise and after sunset. The term “twilight” is also applied to the continuous transition from daylight to darkness and vice versa.

Twilight is characterized by a number of colorful phenomena that are observed in the sky before sunrise or after sunset when there are no clouds; in any weather, sunlight scattered from the upper atmosphere after sunset or before sunrise illuminates the earth’s surface. The duration of twilight depends on the angle between the horizon and the direction of the sun’s apparent motion across the sky. Twilight thus varies with latitude; the closer to the equator, the shorter the period of twilight. In addition, the duration of twilight depends on the declination of the sun. In regions of the earth sufficiently far from the equator, the sun sinks only a small angular distance below the horizon in summer, and evening twilight merges with morning twilight; as a result, it does not become dark at night. In Russia, this phenomenon is known as white nights.

Twilight occurs as a consequence of the earth’s spheroidal shape; the sun’s rays illuminate the upper layers of the atmosphere after the sun has set or before it has risen.

For practical purposes, the period of twilight is defined in three ways. Civil twilight is the time during which the sun sinks to 7° (sometimes 6°) below the horizon; in this brightest part of twilight, natural light is sufficiently intense for any kind of work, including reading and writing, to be performed outdoors without artificial illumination. Nautical twilight is the period when the sun sinks to 12° below the horizon. During this time, visibility deteriorates severely owing to insufficient illumination, but ships near a coast can still be navigated by sighting landmarks on the coast. Astronomical twilight is the period when the sun sinks to 18° below the horizon; during astronomical twilight, the earth’s surface becomes dark, but a barely perceptible light remains in the sky. This light is sufficient, however, to impede astronomical observations of faint stars.

Astronomical almanacs, nautical almanacs, and other reference publications report the times at which each of the three twilight periods begins and ends at various latitudes for each day of the year. These times are only approximate, however, since the illumination and visibility of one’s surroundings still depend on such factors as the weather and the presence of snow cover. In the rare instances when meteoric and volcanic phenomena increase the turbidity of the upper atmosphere, the intensity of twilight is enhanced, and its duration is extended.


Minnaert, M. Svet i tsvet v prirode. Moscow, 1958. (Translated from English.)
Rozenberg, G. V. Sumerki. Moscow, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about twilight?

Twilight is usually thought of as a peaceful and colorful time of day. In a dream it may signify that someone is well along in years or represent an end to old conditions or circumstances.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


An intermediate period of illumination of the sky before sunrise and after sunset; the three forms are civil, nautical, and astronomical.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


The period of incomplete darkness following sunset and preceding sunrise. Twilight is designated as civil, nautical, or astronomical, as the darker limit occurs when the center of the sun is 6°, 12°, and 18°, respectively, below the celestial horizon. The period of civil twilight before sunrise is known as morning civil twilight and after the sunset as evening civil twilight. The air almanac lists the local mean times of the beginning of morning civil twilight and the end of evening civil twilight in exactly the same format as sunrise and sunset tables. The twilight tables are printed on the right-hand pages facing the sunrise and sunset tables, with each pair covering the same block of calendar dates.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
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Dave Thomas, deputy general manager of Cineworld, said: "The previous films in the Twilight saga have all been extremely popular at Cineworld, and we are gearing up for an extremely busy weekend.
By Post: Simply post your answer to us at Twilight Competition, Sunday Mercury, Floor 6, Fort Dunlop, Birmingham B24 9FF.
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Twilight plasters, pounds 7.99,
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Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in The Twilight Saga: New Moon