Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Seasonal Reminder

Equinox already? Watching the Husband head east this a.m., I noticed the Sun was already closing in on mid-position on the hogback, my Stonehenge. The hogback, if I bother to observe it at the appropriate time of day, tells me when we are in the cycle of celestial movement, and, sure enough, we're almost back at the Vernal Equinox (and, not coincidentally, the 3rd anniversary of Foothills Fancies).

It's been 21 years, 21 trips around a 587-million-mile (947 million km) circuit since I first consciously observed the "movement" of the Sun up and down the hogback. I'm rounding off; you can check my calculations.*

Speaking of 108,000 (see below), check out this intriguing tidbit regarding the accuracy of ancient Hindu astronomical revelations, which I've had occasion to use in post comments on a couple of blogs lately. Figured if I park the link here, I won't lose track of it again.

I don't really know where we are;
They tell us we're circling a star.
I'll take their word, for I don't know,
but I'm dizzy so maybe that's so.

—lyrics from Defying Gravity by Jesse Winchester,
as recorded by Emmylou Harris

(hope that's the right reference; best I can do with this memory and a little help from Google; I apologize for image quality this a.m., must have been in a hurry... or maybe a little dizzy myself!)

*Had to do that calculation of the approximate length of Earth's orbit myself, as the sources Google found for me weren't interested in that particular figure. It went like this, if you want to make sure I didn't mess up the math:

365.26 days X 24 hr/day X 108,000 km/hr average speed X 0.62 miles/km = 586,987,430.4 miles

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