Tuesday, June 21, 2016

SOLSTICE OBSERVATIONS

June 20 is the longest day of the year but the earliest sunrise was last week and the latest sunset is next week. The combo makes the solstice the longest or the shortest day. 15 hours of sun compared to 9 in the winter solstice in Park City. The longest day is 24 hours long at the poles and always close to 12 hours at the equator.
Sunrise at solstice in PC is 32 degrees north of east and sunset is 32 degrees north of west. Winter Solstice sun rise and set at 32 degrees south of east and west respectively. It rises and sets due east and west for the equinox, everywhere. North and south sunrise and sunset deviations increase with latitude until summer solstice at the pole the sun just spins around 360 degrees. Winter solstice at the opposite pole is dark all day. Men cycle with the sun.

The moon is full on the solstice this month and rises, by definition of opposition, at sundown and comes up approximately 24/28 of an hour later for each day past full. The moon arcs low in the south when the sun is high in the summer and high when the sun is low in the winter. It rises and sets north and south of due east and west respectively, opposite of the seasonal sun during the solstice and due east and west at the equinox. Women cycle with the moon.
Betelgeuse is my favorite star; the big, old, red super giant star located to the left of Orion's Belt (the hand). It is huge and it's diameter is the size of the orbit of Jupiter! It is only 640 light years away and it could explode and go supernova some day soon, if it hasn't already.
Since the universe is expanding and accelerating, all starlight has a slight Doppler red shift to a lower frequency on the visible light spectrum, just as a train going away from you has a lower frequency sound. In a few hundred million years the stars will be receding from us so fast that they will not be in the visible light spectrum frequencies for us anymore and will disappear. Go out and see them tonight.