Motion of the Su6

Motion of the Su6 - Iowa during the winter the Sun rises in...

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Motion of the Sun Once people figured out how the stars moved - or thought they did - they could turn their attention to the next object - the Sun. Unfortunately, its motion isn't easy to understand. The Sun's path varies over the course of the year. Sometimes it rises in the northeast, and sometimes it rises in the southeast. Only on two days does it rise directly in the East and set directly in the West. These special dates are known as the Equinoxes . To give you their full names, they are the Vernal Equinox , which is around March 21, and the Autumnal Equinox , which is around September 21. You may recognize these dates as the beginnings of the seasons of Spring and Autumn. These dates - the Equinoxes - have nothing to do with the weather; they have to do with the location of the Sun relative to the Celestial Equator. Now for the rest of the year, the Sun's path and its rising and setting locations vary. As seen from
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Unformatted text preview: Iowa, during the winter the Sun rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest. In the summer it rises in the northeast and sets in the northwest. There are two days when the rising and setting locations are at their most extreme (furthest north or furthest south). These days are also the dates that the Sun travels a path that is also an extreme - very long and high above the horizon or very short and low to the horizon. These are the days known as the Winter Solstice , which occurs around December 21 (shortest day), while the other is called, oddly enough, the Summer Solstice , and it occurs around June 21. Of course, you know these days as the beginning of Winter and Summer. Like the dates of Equinoxes, they have really nothing to do with the weather, but with the position of the Sun relative to the Celestial Equator....
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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