Friday, December 22, 2023

Friday Poem

Environmental & Science Education, Poetry, Art & Environment, Astronomy, Solar System, Earth & Space Science, Astrophysics

Ed Hessler

Sarah Orne Jewett (1849 - 1909), is the author of A Country Boy in Winter. Use the underlined link to read about her life.

This week marked the beginning of winter 2023. In Minnesota the Winter Solstice, also known as the Hibernal Solstice began at 9:27 pm, December 21. 'Tis the season of short days and long nights. Yesterday, day length was 8h 46m 00s long. Today, day length will increase by less than a second. It will be January 4 when day length increases by a minute and January 20 when it increases by two minutes.

The position of the sun during the day yesterday is an important part of the formula for understanding the length of daylight at the beginning of the Solstice Winter season. Sunrise: 123 degrees ESE; Meridian (noon) 180 degrees S; and Sunset 237 degrees WSW. I enjoy looking at a compass to see that range.*
Poet John Donne (1572 - 1631) captured Winter Solstice perfectly in the first line of "A Nocturnal Upon St. Lucy's Day." 'Tis the year's midnight. What a lovely way to think about it.
* An addition: Today's APOD (December 22) shows this visually in "a single 183 day exposure" called a solargraph.  The recording is from solstice to solstice, June 21, 2022 (Summer Solstice) to December 21, 2022 (Winter Solstice). It is really striking.

No comments:

Post a Comment