At 17:39 today, the Sun reached the limit of its journey into the Northern Hemisphere and started on its return south. This is the June Solstice, the longest daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere, and 9 hours, 21 minutes longer than on the December Solstice. A solstice occurs when the Sun is at its furthest point from the equator. On the June solstice it reaches its northernmost point and the Earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards the sun, at about 23.5 degrees. It’s also known as the northern solstice because it occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic [Read more]
At 22:03 tonight (December 21st 2014), the Sun will shine directly over the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere, which is the southern-most position the Sun reaches before reversing its direction and heading back towards the Northern Hemisphere. This is called the Winter Solstice, or Summer Solstice if you’re reading this in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also the day with the shortest sunlight hours, or longest if you’re in the south. Solstice comes from the Latin solstitium, meaning the Sun stands still. In the Northern Hemisphere, astronomers and scientists use the December Solstice as the start of the winter [Read more]
On Friday (15th February) asteroid 2012 DA14 will make the closest pass to the planet since scientists began monitoring asteroids more than 15 years ago. The asteroid, which is about the size of an Olympic swimming pool, will pass about 27,520 kilometres (17,100 miles) from Earth. The Moon is about 14 times further away than the asteroid at its closest approach. Earth orbiting satellites generally fly about 800 kilometres (497 miles) higher, so the asteroid will pass within the orbit of these satellites. There is a very real possibility that the asteroid could collide with a satellite, or any other piece of space junk [Read more]
There’s always something happening at Bracken House. Today, we had a young Staffordshire Bull Terrier running loose on the land. She wanted to play with the ponies and the chickens. She even had a dip in the pond. I managed to catch her and took her for a walk behind the nursing home to see if her owner was looking for her, but it was raining and blowing a gale and there was no-one to be found. I put her in one of the stables and telephoned the Ashfield District Council stray dogs line. To my amazement, the dog warden [Read more]
I have been meaning to start a blog for months – and here it is.