December 21 2018 – the solstice

This year, the northern hemisphere winter solstice will fall on 21 December in Britain.  On this date there are the fewest hours of daylight and the Sun is at its lowest maximum elevation. The origin of the word solstice is from two Latin words:  sol, which means Sun, and sistere, to stand still. At the time of the winter… Continue reading December 21 2018 – the solstice

June 21 2018 – the solstice

This year, the June solstice will fall on 21 June.  In the northern hemisphere, it is the day when there is the most daylight and when the Sun is at its highest in the midday sky.   Sunrise at the solstice at Stonehenge, England - image from Wikimedia commons The origin of the word solstice is… Continue reading June 21 2018 – the solstice

20 March 2018 – the equinox

Now that we are in the month of March, it is only a short time until 21 March, the first day of spring (or first day of autumn if you're one of my readers in the southern hemisphere). There is a commonly held view that 21 March is an equinox and that the equinoxes are the two… Continue reading 20 March 2018 – the equinox

The equinox March 20 2017

Now that we are in the month of March, for most of us in the northern hemisphere the worst of the winter is over, and it is only a few days until 21 March, the first day of spring.   There is a commonly held view that March 21 is the spring equinox and that the equinoxes are the two… Continue reading The equinox March 20 2017

The long summer evenings

This post talks about two interesting effects to do with the way it get dark after the Sun has set.  The first one, which anyone who has travelled to places lying at different latitudes will have seen, is that the closer you are to the equator the quicker it gets dark after the Sun has… Continue reading The long summer evenings