Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Happy Analemma Day 2016!

Happy Analemma Day 2016!

It's that time of the year when the sun retraces its one footprint in the sky.  Coincidentally it is also when the new school year begins in the United States.  How synchronistically quaint!?

The Analemma is that odd design on many, but not all, the globes you see in classroom across America.  It can usually be found in the South Pacific nearer to South America on a globe.  Yet this astronomical phenomena is NEVER explained.  The longest night, longest day, equal times a daylight and nightlight are easy to explain, but not Analemma Day.  Maybe it is because a discussion of the Analemma in the classroom would lead to some low brow Beavis and Butthead comments from the peanut gallery.  Move over Uranus, the Sun has an Analemma.

In simple terms this is where the sun appears in the same exact spot in the sky for one day.  Every year the sun appears at this location at about April 14th, but then returns to this point at about August 31st.  Thus the last day of August when the sun is aligned to one day in mid April, keeping the cosmos in order.  For the rest of the year the sun appears in a unique original position, except for on the last day of August...Analemma Day!

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