Friday, March 21, 2014

Decoding a Myth of the Vernal Equinox . . .

Remember I said I was going to try to find out why there wasn't actually equal day and night on the Vernal Equinox, yesterday?

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski gives this definition of Vernal Equinox:  This is when the sun crosses the equator going south to north.  It happens during Earth's orbit around the sun  and simultaneously on the imaginary dome of our sky.  Remember that the Earth orbits the sun one time per year; but the Sun orbits the Earth one time per day.  On the Vernal Equinox the Sun crosses the equator, an imaginary line drawn right around the Earth's middle, like a belt.  It devices Earth into the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.

Kottlowski says that the word equinox means "equal nights," and as a result it's rumored that there must be equal hours of both day and night (12 hours).  But, he says that's not really true, that we get closer to equal day and night hours based on the effects of daylight saving.  The one place on Earth where one would probably see the most equality between day and night is at the equator, somewhere like Quito, Ecuador.  [I visited Quito years ago and had a photo taken of me straddling the equator].

Today I leave Bakersfield to meander north towards home (Judy's ranch in Loomis, CA).  I don't plan to make the whole trip today but maybe as far as Modesto or Stockton; then it'll be just a short hop to Loomis tomorrow - without commute traffic.


22 comments:

  1. Thanks for researching that for us and explaining, now we know.
    Travel safe and enjoy.

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  2. As you pass the truck weighing station along I-80 near Antelope Road, give my family a big toot of your air horn for me.... --Dave

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  3. Hi Dave:
    Ha ha, if I had one I would! I checked on the Loomis RV park - a little steep and Lacy's overweight - 20lb. limit. I guess for the daily rate she'd be okay?!?! Anyway, I'm going to park at Judy's for a week or so and then take Floribunda up to Jeff's in Cottonwood; I'll stay there until I have to be back in Sacto for surgery concerns.
    When do you leave for Alaska? How long will you take going?

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    1. I figure we will enter Canada by late May. By the time we enjoy Banff and Lake Louise area, then head further north to Alaska that we should get there between June 15th-20th. Two months later we will be headed south again, and plan to spend some time in the Pacific Northwest before we head down to Sacramento area....where we should arrive by end of October. After Thanksgiving, we will head back home to Florida.

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