Saturday, June 21, 2008

Winter Solstice today in Brisbane - hurrah!

My favourite time of winter... the days begin to get longer from now in the downhill run to summer.

Spring is just around the corner and then summer. Mind you, I'm not fussed on the heat in Summer (though we had a nice mild one last time), it's just that in the winter I dislike the short daylight hours. The cold here in Queensland is negligible, but the short days are something that I just don't like at all.

Date/sunrise/sunset/length of day this day/difference/solar noon time/altitude/distance (106 km)
Jun 21, 2008/ 6:38 AM/ 5:02 PM/ 10h 24m 06s/ less than .0s/ 11:50am/ 39.1/ 52.026

*not mastered tables yet... Dreamweaver'd be handy!


Anonymous said...

It's terrible on the golf course. Some slow players hold up those behind them and a normal four hour round becomes 4,5 hr or even 5 hr. Like today. So if you tee off at 12 noon you should be back at the bar just after 4. Today we just finished at 4.45pm and the dark fell immediately after. There were 3 or 4 groups still out there who wouldn't have finished. Bring on the longer days.


Skeeter said...

On two different TV channels last night I saw "experts" trying to explain why it is the winter solstice here and the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.
Both "experts" based their explanations on the Sun being closer to the northern hemisphere than to the southern hemisphere because of the tilt of the Earth's axis.
This is nonsense.
If anyone believes the TV presenters, they should read the "About the Sunrise and Sunset Calculator" linked to the table in Kae's post.

splice said...

Those so called “experts” really did explain the solstice badly, Skeeter, although it is to do with the axis of the Earth’s rotation being tilted in relation to the plane of its orbit. Our winter solstice in the southern hemisphere is generally thought of as being the shortest day of the year. In fact, the winter solstice occurs at the precise moment the sun is directly overhead of the Tropic of Cancer (the northern tropic) at some location in the world. That moment occurred this year on June 21 at 9:59 a.m. Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Interestingly, far from being “closer” to the Sun at this time of year, the Earth will soon be at its farthest point from the Sun in its yearly orbit. The Earth’s orbit is slightly elliptical. The closest point in our solar orbit is called the perihelion.

The most distant point is called the aphelion, which will occur in 2008 on July 4 at approx. 18:00 AEST.

splice said...

To clarify further; rather than summer and winter solstice, it’s probably less confusing to speak of the northern solstice and the southern solstice, being when the sun is overhead the Tropic of Cancer and overhead the Tropic of Capricorn respectively.