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As you get closer to the equator the sunlight passes through less of earth's atmosphere than at high latitudes. The angle of the sun's descent toward the horizon is closer to the perpendicular, and for those two reasons, (a) the sun's light is refracted less at lower latitude, and (b) the sun "plunges" below the horizon at a steeper angle, therefore it gets dark quicker.

Or, as my first grade teacher used to say, the earth is "widest" at the equator, so the earth blocks the sun's light more the nearer you are to the equator.

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Q: Why does it get darker quicker in north than in south?
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