Weekend Diversion: Happy Everything

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” -Voltaire


All over the world, there are celebrations going on today. Yes, it’s Christmas, but there’s a much older reason to celebrate. I’m not talking about Roman festivals, Ancient Greek celebrations, or even old Hebrew traditions, although I will give you the David Grisman Quintet‘s classic,

Shalom Aleichem.
I’m talking about the sky. And not the night sky, either. If you want to see what the Sun does, day-from-day, all you need to do is construct a pinhole camera with a photographic plate on the back.

If you built one that recorded the Sun’s path for half-a-year — from Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice — what would you find?

You’d find — if you lived North of the Tropic of Cancer (or South of the Tropic of Capricorn) — that the Summer Solstice corresponded to the highest path in the sky.

Image credits: Justin Quinell, with instructions at pinholephotography.org.

And the lowest path is reached on the Winter Solstice. That means the fewest hours of daylight, the least amount of sunshine, and it gets worse the farther away from the equator you are! Check out this photo, on the Winter Solstice, from northern Alaska.

Image credit: Ken Tape.

But just when things are darkest, the next day brings with it an improvement, however slight. And the days gradually get longer. And the Sun gradually rises higher.

And — however you do it — that’s worth celebrating. So have a great holiday season, whenever and however you celebrate it, and best wishes from me to each and every one of you.

Comments

  1. #1 Christopher
    December 25, 2010

    love this graphic image of the sun’s paths. If you know when suntime noon is, (the highest point), then you know roughly where south is in the northern hemisphere. Rises=southeastish.
    Sets=southwestish.
    Noon=more or less due south.

    True all year.

  2. What would it take to get rid of daylight savings time?

  3. #3 islami chat
    December 28, 2010

    En sağlıklı abur cuburlar

    Formunuza zarar vermeyecek abur cubur önerileri.

    Atıştırmak günah olmaktan çıkmalı! İşte size formunuza zarar vermeyecek sağlıklı abur cubur önerilerimiz:

    Ceviz ve çekirdek: Sadece beyin gücünü arttırmaz aynı zamanda ruh halinizi düzenler ve saatlerce tok hissetmenizi sağlarlar. Yaşlanmayı geciktirdikleri de biliniyor.

  4. #4 islami sohbet
    December 28, 2010

    Lisbeth Salander bir yıl aradan sonra İsveç’e döner. Mikael Blomkvist ise İsveç’teki fuhuş çeteleri hakkında bir dosya yapmak üzere çalışmalara başlamıştır. Ancak çok geçmeden dosyanın muhabiri ile kız arkadaşı ölü bulunur ve silahın üzerinde Lisbeth’in parmak izine rastlanır. Polis Lizbeth’in peşine düşer. Mikael, Lisbeth’in masum olduğundan emindir ancak bunu kanıtlayabilmek için cinayetleri araştırmaya başlar. Bu araştırmalar sırasında Lisb