Jun 21, 200610:09 AMThe Life
Tropic of Taurus
Jun 21, 2006 - 10:09 AMIt's the first day of summer here in America... an event observed on May 1 in Ireland.
The June solstice occurs when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer @ 23°27'N (near Mazatlan, Mexico; Havana, Cuba; Calcutta, India; Hong Kong, China; and Jia-Yi County, Taiwan--which is having some trouble keeping up with the migrating "Line of Return"). This tropic line was named after the constellation (Cancer) corresponding to this position in the sky when the constellations were named, nearly 2,000 years ago. However, precession (the 25,700-year wobble in the Earth's rotation) has resulted in a shift of the position of the Sun so that it's now in the constellation Taurus on the solstice.
Okay, my head is starting to hurt. Time to wrap it up:
Today is also the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere: 14 hours and 24 minutes in Palm Springs, 1 second longer than yesterday.
So it's all downhill from here. Bring on the darkness.