Friday, June 19, 2009

cycles of the seasons

We are within shouting distance of the Summer Solstice (12:45 AM EDT I believe) and once again I have noted an interesting phenomenon as I track the time of sunrise (via Weather Underground, scroll down the page about halfway for the Astronomy column). While the days will continue to get longer (by 4 seconds) the sunrise is shown as 1 minute earlier than yesterday.

For the past week, the sun has been rising at 4:48 and today it said 4:49.

This is because the orbit of the Earth is not a perfect circle and because the rotation axis of the Earth is not perpendicular to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. (reference)

And while I am thinking about it, the allegedly equal day and night of the equnoxes does not happen on the astronomical date either, on account of the refraction of light. Light travels through the near vacuum of space but when it hits the atmosphere it bends, much like it bends when going from the air through a glass of water. (reference)

On other notes, I have been most pleased with the other cycles I have been noting for the past little bit. The days of rain (much maligned by the TV weather folks) (note to TV producers: Tell your talking head to stop editorializing on the WEATHER!) have nicely alternated with days of sun. This cycle is not only good for the garden (at least mine seems to be doing fine) but for the workflow as well; during the dry days I have to be out in the gardens, weeding and picking and such, but during the wet weather, there is time for house work and painting and other indoor projects. For me, this natural balance is a very good thing.


MMStarshine said...

That sounds about perfect. It's doing something similar here, but with Rainy Mornings, and Sunny Afternoons.

Idk how plants like it, but I like it JUST FINE.

Too much rain, too much sun, and maybe the balance over the course of the year, but I prefer when then balance over the course of a week. :)

Amelia said...

I agree. We were getting a little too much of a good thing here for a while there. Rain almost non-stop for days on end. I have a bumper crop of mushrooms and snails. Thankfully it's evened out a little more now, we're having clear mornings and rainy afternoons, which suits me just fine.