Sunday, June 17, 2007

Solstice Approaching...

Just four days from now, on June 21, the summer solstice occurs. On that day, the sun is above the horizon longer than on any other day of the year.

The photo at right is from HPWREN's automatic camera on top of Lyon's Peak, a couple miles almost due south of my house. The camera looks at a 90° swath of the horizon, centered on due north. It was taken just a little while before sunset. You can see that the sun is on the left (which is west), and nearly in view. That means the sun's direction is just a few degrees less than 315°, well north of west and much further north than it normally sets. Each day until June 21 it will set (and rise) a little further north. Between June 21 and December 21 (the winter solstice), it will set (and rise) a little further south each day.

There's your astronomy lesson for the day...

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