Jan 052016
 
2015 - a stay at home year

Despite having over a dozen overseas places on my ‘must visit’ list, 2015 was a year in which I stayed on these shores, unless you count the Channel Islands as abroad. Although outside of the United Kingdom, I don’t regard our annual holiday in Herm as a trip overseas. Holidays Apart from a day trip to Llandudno in April, my first holiday was a repeat trip to the Outer Hebrides, this time on an organised rail and coach trip. The last time I was in the Hebrides, Sandra and I flew there and drove the length of the Isles from Barra to Stornaway. [Read more]

Jun 212015
 
The Sun starts its journey back to the Southern Hemisphere

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]

Dec 212014
 
The Sun goes into reverse - it's the Winter Solstice.

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]

Feb 102013
 
Don't panic! We're not going to die

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]

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