Although the Sun appears to "rise" from the horizon, it is actually the Earth's motion that causes the Sun to appear. The illusion of a moving Sun results from Earth observers being in a rotating reference frame; this apparent motion is so convincing that most cultures had mythologies and religions built around the geocentric model, which prevailed until astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus first formulated the heliocentric model in the 16th century.
Architect Buckminster Fuller proposed the terms "sunsight" and "sunclipse" to better represent the heliocentric model, though the terms have not entered into common language.
Astronomically, sunrise occurs for only an instant: the moment at which the upper limb of the Sun appears tangent to the horizon. However, the term sunrise commonly refers to periods of time both before and after this point:
Twilight, the period in the morning during which the sky is light but the Sun is not yet visible. The beginning of morning twilight is called dawn. The period after the Sun rises during which striking colors and atmospheric effects are still seen.