Tag Archives: Planets

sun hugs southern horizon now for NORTHERN HEMISPHERE

#mYm20 philosophical thinking:

Seeing the sunrise and sunset now both in the southern sky, as in yesterday’s photos, I was thinking that in the northern hemisphere it is now like we’re looking back at the sun in our rear (north to south) as we might see a landmark travelling farther into the distance after we’ve passed it in a vehicle, and now it’s visible through the rear window.

In our ‘summer’ it’s as if we’re travelling towards a landmark, seeing it get closer and brighter in front of us (north to north) up until the ‘summer solstice’, when we ‘pass it’. It then starts receding into our ‘rear view mirror’ again, back down to the ‘southern horizon’.

If our planet wasn’t spinning around, giving us days and nights when we’re facing the sun or away from it, and we were on the side facing the sun, in a place where sunrise/sunset is always visible, we’d see its movement all the time; or our movement around it in reality; rather than mostly measuring its movement in sunrises and sunsets.

Hemisphere Seasons Reasons: Hemispheasons?!

As seen in this Planets Today orrery, Earth is now at 1 o’ clock on a normal clock face, with the northern hemisphere pointed towards deep space with our planet’s 23.4 axial tilt. That is why we have winter and less daylight. We are like a reclining human looking back down their body. In contrast Earth’s south is now directly facing the sun, giving it their summer.

In 6 months of ‘our time’ we’ll be at 7 o’ clock on a normal clock face, with our north facing the sun and where we are now at ‘1 o’ clock’. We will be like a reclining human facing the sun, while our planet’s south will be pointed out towards space, and they will be looking back over the Earth’s body to the sun.

Planets race tonight and year

Jupiter and Saturn visibility has travelled across the southern sky over the year, westward from south-east to middle now: that’s because they’re on the ‘outside lane’ and we’re overtaking on the inside. In contrast to our year (365 days; time measurement created by humanity of course) orbit it takes Jupiter 11.86 years to orbit the sun, and Saturn 29.50, so they are not always seen close together like that; Jupiter will ‘race’ ahead of Saturn.

They also look like they’re travelling westwards each night, but that’s because of our planetary spin. In contrast, Venus is on our inside, taking only 224 ‘days’ to orbit the sun, so is racing ahead, looking as if it’s travelling eastward on our horizon over the year.

It was Galileo’s observations of the full planetary phases of Venus in 1610 that determined planets orbit the sun, rather than Earth.

Venus still looks as if it’s travelling west through the night though, because that’s defined by our planetary spin. As Jupiter lags behind us we see it earlier as our planet twists around anti-clockwise:

Jupiter 12.49 (November 5th) to 11.07 (December 5th)
As Venus races ahead, we see it later:
Venus 3.54 (November 5th) to 5.32 (December 5th)

Eventually, Venus will go out of sight behind the sun, reappearing in our evening as it catches up with us again. This year (2020), space.com writes Venus was in our: Evenings in the western sky at dusk from January 1st to May 24th; mornings in the eastern sky at dawn from June 13 to Dec. 31.

https://www.theplanetstoday.com/
https://www.timeanddate.com

Travelling on Planet Earth.

DAILY SPIN: THE SUN REMAINS THE SAME
[double play of words: the first affectionately parodying a newspaper, while the second paraphrases Led Zeppelin’s album, The Song Remains the Same]

If you watch another planet or two (good sight of Jupiter and Saturn in the southern sky with the moon again last night) through a window you can see our movement: as the planets seem to slowly travel across the window before leaving sight.

Earth’s spin is the same reason for our daily view of the sun. The sun remains the same through time though, as we orbit it,

The other planets are also orbiting it, so their positions in ‘our night sky’ change. We are on the ‘inside lane’ of Jupiter and Saturn, so will race ahead soon, and they won’t be in our ‘outside lane’ vison.

Our daily/nightly sight of the moon is different, because it orbits us.

End of Days

Leaving days, we leave our planet’s spin influence.

The seasons are not because of our planet’s spin. They are because of our Earth’s rigid 23.4 axis tilt, which means that as we orbit the sun over the course of our year, each north-south hemisphere has half a year pointing towards the sun and then space, or just out to space.

Our planet’s spin still gives both hemispheres day and night, although there is more/less depending on where we are in the orbit (year). Now, the northern hemisphere is pointing more and more to space, so we will have more and more darkness; the southern is pointing more and more towards the sun, so it will have more light.

I hope the above combination of artistic imagination and writing explanation can be useful to your enjoyment of the night sky. I’ve been passively learning about it all my life, but my writing and researching over the last fifteen years made me more active. The planetstoday and timeanddate websites have recently been very useful in giving me a clear image of our solar system and its timings.

The above is the kind of knowledge I wanted 11 years ago when I started this website. That it has taken this long shows that you can’t rush these kinds of things, and knowledge is not always available; or not available in the style you need. In another 11 years we will know much more, and one day we may know how our universe works the way we today know how our solar system does.

Summer solstice great greenygreying

It’s summer solstice, with our planet’s northern hemisphere getting its most sunlight because it’s axis tilt is tipping it more towards the sun than any other time on its orbit around our star, the sun.
My favourite orrery, the planets today, shows the sun at 6 o’ clock now, going anti-clockwise:
 

Colour of the Moon is Greenygrey?

Hi, it’s Wolfgang.  I looked up the colour of the moon after reading Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror nature poem about how moonlight sails the ocean night on a goldshine silverline.

Goldshine, Silverline, the Moon is Greenygrey

I was surprised that the first image I found showed the moon to be as much greenygrey as anything:

Copied from: http://www.mikeoates.org/mas/projects/mooncolour/intro.htm

All these years of howling at the moon and I never noticed!

Maybe Neil Young will now follow up Harvest Moon with Greenygrey Moon?

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