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Get her to stand in front of the fire and lean back as far as she can. Now ask her whether her head is as warm as her feet. Alternatively, while in the leaning position, walk round a bonfire for a year.
Happy new arbitrary-period-of-time-close-to-but-not-quite-one-year-from-the-entirely-arbitrary-date-when-this-was-last-celebrated to one and all!
We should really celebrate the tropical year, the sidereal year or the anomalistic year - these can be calculated precisely. Let's face it - so the earth nearly - but not quite - went around the sun once from an entirely arbitrary position, both astronomically and calendrically. The earth actually needs to spin another two quarter days to get to where it was (roughly) since the last leap year.
Sidereal year = 365 d 6 h 9 min 9.76 s
Tropical year = 365 d 5 h 48 min 45 s
Anomalistic year = 365 d 6 h 13 min 52.6 s
As a result of all this arbitrary nonsense, I now celebrate perihelion day. This morning I toasted in the new year with a bacon buttie and a large bloody Mary, at 07:20 local time (GMT +2).
Next year, the UK can join in without getting up at sparrowfart, as perihelion occurs nearly two and a half hours later.
As Phil said, the difference between perihelion and aphelion is only ~3.4%, so that isn't the cause of the difference. The difference is due to the fact that the Sun is (a) lower in the sky now than it was in July, and (b) appears for fewer hours in the day. Both these phenomena are due to the Earth's axial tilt.
If the Sun is directly overhead (which can never happen in Wales) on a cloudless, clear day, you will get the maximum possible amount of light & heat. When the Sun reaches a maximum height of ~60 degrees above the horizon, which is what you get in June, then the amount of light and heat is only ~86% of the maximum possible. When the Sun reaches a maximum height of ~15 degrees above the horizon, which is what you get in December, then the amount of light and heat is only ~24% of the maximum possible.
The effect of having Perihelion close to the winter solstice is to slightly moderate the cold of winter in the Northern hemisphere. A similar effect, moderating the heat of summer, occurs at aphelion.
Note that the actual effects of less sun are moderated due to the gulf stream, the winds in the atmosphere, etc. etc.
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
-- 6079 Smith W.
I don’t think the average person, myself included, can ever fully understand the magnitude of this accomplishment. In fact, the quantities involved are so far beyond the human experience, I suspect even the mission scientists and engineers struggle to truly visualize them.
First, consider the distance. Assume you wanted to emulate this trip. So, you decide to continually fly round-trip from New York to Sydney, until you equal the distance. Bad news here. It would take over 200,000 round-trip flights. Assuming you fly one leg of this round-trip, every single day, you would be flying for a bit over a thousand years.
The good news is that, if you’re willing to wait that long, you’ll save a bit on the trip. At around $200M for the commercial flights, you’d beat the $700M price tag for New Horizons
Next, consider the navigation. Imagine you fire a bullet moving about 20 times as fast as the average rifle round. Your target is a different fast-moving bullet. Finally, make the problem a bit more difficult by requiring that you ricochet off two other fast-moving bullets on the way. Oh, and don’t forget that distance we talked about earlier. Simple right?
Then, consider the engineering. You decide to build a contraption that can accomplish almost all of these goals. Though, at that point you’re “only” aiming at that second bullet. You haven’t decided you’ll ricochet off of it yet.
So, you plan and lobby, lobby and plan…for a couple of decades. Then, you get permission (and funding) to actually build the thing. A few years later its built and launched. Yeah! Success, right?
Nope, you get to wait, and watch it travel, and wait…for an additional decade. Along the way, you decide that second ricochet would be really cool! You even find another bullet to hit. Finally, decades later, if you’ve got the patience, and are still around, you get to enjoy the payoff.
All done right? Maybe. They’re talking about another ricochet and another bullet
Personally, I am in awe of this accomplishment. And, more, as an engineer myself, the patience it must require to begin a project that might not be completed until after you’re gone.
Kudos, NASA! Home run on this one!
Now, can we talk about that Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway? Are you sure about it? Can I talk you out of it, please?
Bull! Why stupid person? It's a contradiction. (8)
Is it SCROTUMS?
"I controlled my laughter and simple said "No,I am very busy,so I can't write any code for you". The moment they heard this all the smiling face turned into a sad looking face and one of them farted. So I had to leave the place as soon as possible." - Mr.Prakash One Fine Saturday. 24/04/2004
Latest addition to family have just discovered the joys of my desk. In addition to detecting their presence on the keyboard it would also help if it could detect which monitor they have decided to look at and automatically transfer my work window to a vacant monitor.
Anything that is unrelated to elephants is irrelephant Anonymous - The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine Winston Churchill, 1944 - Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. Mark Twain