Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stars and the Solstice Sun

Click on image to enlargeComposite Credit & Copyright: Jerry Lodriguss (Catching the Light)

Explanation: If you could turn off the atmosphere's ability to scatter overwhelming sunlight, today's daytime sky might look something like this ... with the Sun surrounded by the stars of the constellations Taurus and Gemini. Of course, today is the Solstice. Traveling along the ecliptic plane, the Sun is at its northernmost position in planet Earth's sky, marking the astronomical beginning of summer in the north. Accurate for the exact time of today's Solstice, this composite image also shows the Sun at the proper scale (about the angular size of the Full Moon). Open star cluster M35 is to the Sun's left, and the other two bright stars in view are Mu and Eta Geminorum. Digitally superimposed on a nighttime image of the stars, the Sun itself is a composite of a picture taken through a solar filter and a series of images of the solar corona recorded during the solar eclipse of February 26, 1998 by Andreas Gada.


MichaelBains said...

I knew you'd have an outstanding post for the Solstice!

Happy Longest Day, Starshine!

Tommy said...

Michael, that just reminded me of my dad, who died a little over a year ago. Every June 21st you could count on him to say "Today's the longest day of the year."

He would say it as if it was some kind of profound revelation and I would just be like "Yeah, uh-huh."

Stardust said...

hey michael, where've ya been?

Hope your longest day was a good one, too!

tommy, it's something how some of the little things our parents have said stay with us our whole lives.