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Thread: question about sun angle

  1. #1 question about sun angle 
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    Here in the northern hemisphere we are about 40 days beyond the winter solstice. Does that mean that the sun is just about at the same angle as 40 days before the winter solstice? I have always thought it to be. Also since the earths orbit around the sun is eliptical. And the northern hemisphere has its winter while the earth is as close to the sun as it gets, while the southern hemisphere has its winter when the earth is as far as it gets from the sun. Does this help explane why the south pole has harsher winters than the north pole? Filix.


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    Not exactly, but close. Because of the eccentricty and ellipticity of the earth's orbit, the positions are not the same +/- a number of days before and after the solstice. Nor is the elveation above the horizon at a specific time of the solar day either. Nor is the time of maximum altitude.


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    But close enough to say the sun right now here in the northern hemisphere Is the same strength "give or take" As late october? Also is the fact that the light we now gain is more per day than early january because of our eliptical orbit? Thanks. Filix.
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    And the northern hemisphere has its winter while the earth is as close to the sun as it gets, while the southern hemisphere has its winter when the earth is as far as it gets from the sun. Does this help explane why the south pole has harsher winters than the north pole?
    It does a bit; there's about a 7% difference in solar radiation between June and December. But remember both poles are receiving no sunshine for 6 months. The South Pole is colder mostly because it's in relative isolation from the ocean and more than 2 miles higher than the North Pole.
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    Thankyou Lynx Fox. To me meteorlogical spring, summer,fall, winter. Makes more sence than using the solstice or equinox For the begining of seasons. I know about seasonal lag. But I prefer March 1st. How long have we been using the solstice/equinox thing? March 1st I always see sighns of spring.
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    How long have we been using the solstice/equinox thing?
    Stone henge, Bighorn Medicine Wheel, Egyptians celebrations, (perhaps our own own Christmas) are all derivatives from cultures that tracked the sun. It's been around for a very long time.
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  8. #7  
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    I know its been around a very long time " tracking the sun" . But I was talking more about our modern calendars. I have a 2012 calendar in front of me that says march 20th spring begins. Do you mean the ancient egyptians considered march 20th first day of spring. I just think that in our modern scientific times that date would have been adjusted a bit. Filix.
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    Calendars are sort of a mess, with various system and often large adjustments. Those key points, such as equinoxes and solstices, they were tracking would have have handy reference points even without a yearly calendar as we think of them now. They could have used them numerous ways even without tracking days "plant wheat one moon after the spring equinox, harvest it by the fall equinox. etc" That's in addition to all the social/cultural functions such as have a feast during the mid summer etc.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by filix View Post
    Thankyou Lynx Fox. To me meteorlogical spring, summer,fall, winter. Makes more sence than using the solstice or equinox For the begining of seasons. I know about seasonal lag. But I prefer March 1st. How long have we been using the solstice/equinox thing? March 1st I always see sighns of spring.
    There are two "seasonal" definitions for good reason. The solstices and equinoxes have to do with the sun, when it is the furthest north or south or rises and sets along the equator. There were things that have been tracked by people for millenia. It's easy. Furthest North, set a peg (or build a monument) here. Same with furthest south. Halfway between is the equinox. the beginning of spring or autumn.

    Meteorological seasons (NH Winter Dec-Jan-Feb, etc) accurately describe the climatology in most of the world. The winter and summer maxima and minima are almost perfectly centered within most continents. Where I live, the summer max, and winter minimum are within 2 or 3 days of the center of the meteorological season. In areas more exposed to oceanic influences (The UK, maybe the Pacific NW?) the lag is a bit more, so is probably delayed a week or two.
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    Thankyou both very much. Filix
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