To each his own. To me my own.

Astronomy

Summer Solstice (via Life of Bon)

A year ago today, I posted this entry and was so happy to hear it had been Freshly Pressed.
I thought today it might be worthy of a repost. For all you Summer-lovers, enjoy your day –
and all the seasons!

Summer Solstice A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most inclined toward or away from the sun, causing the Sun’s apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun’s path north or south come … Read More

via Life of Bon


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Have you ever felt like running somewhere, anywhere – only to be reminded there’s really nowhere for you to run?

Full moon ahead.

Kinda like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Even as a child, this phrase intrigued me. It seems most logical for me to believe it may have derived from Greek mythology – when Homer’s Odyssey refers to Odysseus being caught between Scylla (a six-headed monster) and Charybdis (a whirlpool).

Full moon alert.

However, I’ve run upon another possible origin that may hold water – pardon the pun – which is the nautical theory. In sailing terminology, the word “Devil” (devill) refers to the seam between the deck planking and the topmost plank of a vessel’s side. This seam had to be watertight, so it required continuous caulking. When a ship was at sea, it sometimes became necessary for a sailor to be suspended over the side or edge to perform this maneuver. Makes perfect sense to me how this might have translated into ‘between the devil and the deep sea’.

Move along, quickly now… full moon out.

All the talk of deep blue seas and moons brings to mind their lovely counterparts – the tides and currents. Thanks to the gravity force between Earth and the Moon, the Moon is ultimately responsible for many of the tides in our Earth’s oceans. During the full and new Moons, the Earth, Moon and Sun are lined up – which produces higher high tides (Spring Tides) and lower low tides. Sorry to bore, but I’ve always found the tides and their reasoning fascinating.

As a child, I remember walking along the beach in my nightgown under the light of a full moon, which I used to call ‘whole’ moon. I’ve written about this night before.  I had this clear plastic blue ring which I used to filter the moon to a beautiful bright blue hue. Since then, I’ve never witnessed any setting that matched the beauty of the moonlit beach on that particular night. Even as a child I appreciated it – I stood there mesmerized taking it all in, wishing I never had to leave. Since our vacation house was directly behind me on the beach, my mother allowed me to linger there under her watchful eye. It’s still a strong, magical and precious memory – one I hope I never lose.

I’d still like to run somewhere. Preferably to a desolate beach at low tide, underneath a full moon…

Photobucket.com

Aim for the Moon. If you miss, you may hit a star…
~W. Clement Stone


My favorite full moon

The full moon arrives tonight at 5:06pm EST. I was reminiscing last night about my very favorite ‘whole moon’ ever, which is what I used to call them as a child.

I was an eleven year-old girl, and we were vacationing at the beach for a week. My uncle had rented a oceanfront house for us located at the very end of the beach – a very private and exquisite place. I remember my mother, grandmother and I being taken aback and feeling like royalty.

One night, Mom let me walk out on the beach alone, barefoot in my little silk nightgown. There happened to be a full moon on that night, and the incandescent light flooded the ocean and the sand in a most beautiful way. It was the brightest night I ever do remember, and the sand appeared white as snow.

You know those blinding diamonds the sunshine makes on the water? The moon made them too; only they were of a different hue and vibrancy – matte white diamonds highlighted solely by the big white moon. As I walked along the shoreline with my nightgown flowing in the breeze, I imagined what it would be like to be a grown woman. I glanced down at my feet every so often to make sure they were still touching the wet sand, like it was a dream that I would wake up from at any time. That night, I was in front of the most beautiful ocean I’ve ever seen – to me, the beauty of that night hasn’t been matched since.

I remember thinking ‘if I could just stay here – in the moonlight on this seashore, for the rest of my life… I’d be happy’. Rather odd thinking for an eleven year-old child. As I look back though, I realize that was the place and time where my love for the ocean really started. I mean true love… and true appreciation. From then on, our seas and all of it’s inhabitants have remained just as mesmerizing to me. It’s the one thing in this world that still remains magical to me… no matter how old of a child I grow to be.

Welcome back, whole moon.


Summer Solstice

solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is most inclined toward or away from the sun, causing the Sun’s apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun’s path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction.

The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the date (day) when this occurs. The solstices, together with the equionoxes, are connected with the seasons. In some cultures they are considered to start or separate the seasons, while in others they fall nearer the middle.

A common misconception is that the earth is further from the sun in winter than in summer. Actually, the Earth is closest to the sun in December which is winter in the Northern hemisphere.

As the Earth travels around the Sun in its orbit, the north-south position of the Sun changes over the course of the year because of the changing orientation of the Earth’s tilted rotation axes. The dates of maximum tilt of the Earth’s equator correspond to the Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice, and the dates of zero tilt to the Vernal Equinox and Autumnal Equinox.

The reason for these changes has to do with the Earth’s yearly trip around the sun. For part of the year the Earth’s North Pole points away from the sun and part of the time toward it. This is what causes our seasons. When the North Pole points toward the sun, the sun’s rays hit the northern half of the world more directly. That means it is warmer and we have summer.

The day of the summer solstice is the longest day of the year. The length of time elapsed between sunrise and sunset on this day is a maximum for the year. In the United States, there are about 14½ hours of daylight on this day.

~Wikipedia.com, Calendar-Updates.com