Sunrise occurs before the Sun actually reaches the horizon because the Sun’s image is refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere. The average amount of refraction is 34 arcminutes, though this amount varies based on atmospheric conditions.
Also, unlike most other solar measurements, sunrise occurs when the Sun’s upper limb, rather than its center, appears to cross the horizon. The apparent radius of the Sun at the horizon is 16 arcminutes.
These two angles combine to define sunrise to occur when the Sun’s center is 50 arcminutes below the horizon, or 90.83° from the zenith. Read more