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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Enigma Of Solar Aphelions And Perihelions

For this investigation, I have relied greatly upon a book prepared by the staff of Popular Science Monthly for publication by Grosset & Dunlap in 1934. In fact, since it found me among my parents' shelves in the 1950s, I have always relied upon it for important instructions in building philosophical instruments and derivation of cosmic principles. 
I could find such information nowhere else. By following its directions...

I built a Latitude Box...

...which tracked the Sun's motion from north to south, but as we know, its daily motion from east to west is far more vigorous. Observe:
Sun rises from the Atlantic in the East, but appears smaller as the day goes on. This is because it is getting farther away. However, to those of us in the West, the Sun is getting closer. It gets so close, Norma went back out to the Monterey Pine the other day and took a Normaphoto of it when it set. Not only is the Sun quite large but its descent is a big event in California.

From the pine tree you can see the Sun hit the ground just beyond the olive orchard, about a mile off. Doesn't stop there. Sun goes real fast and builds up enough momentum everyday to roll, bounce and ricochet through the Coast Ranges then fly into the Pacific Ocean.
We are over 70 miles inland and can hear the sizzle with all our doors shut. I don't know how or by what route the Sun goes back under this continent to the East by morning --my parents didn't have that edition-- but I have deduced the etymology of Aphelion as opposed to Perihelion: During the evening impact, the Aphelion's "p" is displaced and, to those familiar with Greek etymologies --yes, extra credit!-- causes a split and you get two helions (Gk: pair;pl, peri), or a Perihelion.

It's been a pleasure to substitute in this class. Your regular Astronomy teacher bumped his head on a gravitational anomoly, a Black Hole, and should be back tomorrow. Let that be a cautionary topic to raise in Health class. I'd hate to bump my head on a Black Hole --not again anyway.



 

18 comments:

  1. I'm admittedly often compelled to consult a dictionary before I finish reading the title of your posts.......

    It's a pleasure to be in your classroom, Geo. I always learn things that I never knew.

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    1. Thanks, Jon, and if I could make our star shine some extra warmth on your mountains, I sure would.

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  2. The sizzle of the sun setting in the ocean sounds a lot like bacon frying. It makes me hungry. Does that mean that the sunset is fattening?

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    1. Good question. I do notice crowds along the beaches tend to thin out in winter though.

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  3. Some of the prettiest sunsets I have seen are in Monterey (or there abouts). However, I had to wait to 1 or 2 pm to see the sun after the fog lifted.

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    1. Thanks, beautiful Arleen. Indeed the pines of that lovely area have found their way all over the place, and after Christmas people plant them out of their decorative pots into yards --like we've done-- but you know, they always lean toward Monterey, one of the prettiest (and sometimes foggiest) places on earth.

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  4. You've heard of the Journal of Irreproducible Results, This one is disturbing enough to go in the Tomes of Irresponsible Conjecture, (published annually or as needed). A nice piece of writing, sir.

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    1. Most kind, Mike. That's the sort of scientific acclaim I'm after!

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  5. Ah the sun....we seldom see it here in Canaday in the winter. I guess all that dousing in the ocean has dimmed its light.

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    1. You'll see it in summer, after it's been refueled. That's why gasoline prices go up in May and June.

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  6. Yeah I have heard that sizzling sound too but usually the sun is behind clouds here so I didn't realise what it was.

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    1. In England you would see the sun that sets in the Atlantic but it makes the same noise.

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  7. Okay, I think I erased what I wanted to say... Living on the east coast, I'll drop you an email if the sun decides not to wake up some morning so you want have to worry about finding your sunglasses.

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    1. Much appreciated. Sun's motion is very reliable but sometimes automatic ignition fails. If that happens, just toss a lit match at it and stand way back.

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  8. You should Google the next issue to see if the magazine is available online. I did a story about an old piano at the local college and discovered there was a picture of it in Look Magazine, published in 1945.
    I Googled the magazine and found a copy. It cost $20, but I wanted the magazine to donate to the college for historical purposes. It was in perfect condition.

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    1. So glad you recounted that story, Rick. Caused me to Google "Popular Science Monthly" and found All article texts of back numbers from May, 1872 through January, 1923 listed free and easily perusable at Wikisource.org. I could probably rely on our shelves of old annuals for a long time, but there are quite a few gaps --mostly gaps.

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  9. What a wonderful book...and post. Very very cool that you can access the old magazines online.

    Sorry, I've got one of those stinky headaches, and my brain isn't functioning very well. Must be time to hit the sack. Say good night, Geo. ("Good night, Geo!")

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    1. Dear Susan --Thanks. I sure appreciate your comment. Now, yes, to bed now and keep your head warm. I had to go to the doctor today with some chest thing and she prescribed a Sulfa drug. I haven't had a course of Sulfa since I was a little kid. I guess they don't just go straight to Penicillin any more --or the bugs are mutating around it. G'nite, kid.

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