||[Jan. 4th, 2009|11:47 pm]
The Earth was at its closest approach to the Sun around 8am MST (1500 UTC) today.|
I have decided that this occasion makes a fantastic non-denominational winter holiday, since (1) it's hard to be late with your holiday greetings, because it generally falls a couple days after New Year's but it moves around, and (2) nobody will ever be offended if you wish them a happy perihelion, because most people will have no idea what you're even talking about.
So my Official Non-Denominational Winter Holiday Greeting™ will now be: "A Sunny Perihelion to you!"
I hope everyone's solar periapsis was warm, bright, and possessed of the full quota of neutrino flux!
Mine was cold. Very, very cold.
The temperature in Las Vegas should never be below 70.
(It's -12C right now with 40 km/hr winds. Yeah.)
When would it be? Plutonian perihelion? Apehelion?
Do we know when/if Pluto has solstices?
Pluto's inclination is 119º (per Wikipedia), so it would have solstices. Plutonian Equinox was in 1987, so Solstice will be 2050 or so.
Pluto's Perihelion was in 1989. The next aphelion will about 2114.
You are the only person I know who would come up with this. Sunny Perihelion to you as well, good sir.
Um. My religion worships the MOON. So, thanks for trashing my beliefs.
*cries in hat*
Thank you, Happy Year of Science to you, too!
Oh. That explains the sudden radiation-induced superpowers. /stretchy
Damn! I slept through my perihelion! Now my year is cursed.
You're clearly in the wrong religion.
Sleep is a sacrament in mine.
Continuing the tradition of asking you questions there is no reason to believe you can answer, which in turn you generally answer quite handily, is the proximity of winter solstice and periapsis a coincidence or what you would expect based on the physics of orbits?
I learned recently that Charon and Pluto always show each other the same face, which is not necessarily related to my question but makes me wonder about the relationship between rotational axes/periods and orbital patterns.
*kicks self for not taking more astronomy when the opportunity was there*
"is the proximity of winter solstice and periapsis a coincidence?"
Yes. The Earth actually precesses like a top, so the timing of the solstice relative to the position in orbit advances by about 1 day in 58 years. In about 10,000 years, perihelion will coincide with the summer solstice instead.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precession_(astronomy)
One scholar of Mithraism, David Ulansey, has interpreted Mithras (Mithras Sol Invictus - the unconquerable sun) as a second sun or star that is responsible for precession. He suggests the cult may have been inspired by Hipparchus' discovery of precession. Part of his analysis is based on the tauroctony an image of Mithras sacrificing a bull, found in most of the temples. According to Ulansey, the tauroctony is a star chart. Mithras is a second sun or hyper-cosmic sun and or a constellation Perseus, and the bull is Taurus, a constellation of the zodiac. In an earlier astrological age, the vernal equinox had taken place when the Sun was in Taurus. The tauroctony, by this reasoning, commemorated Mithras-Perseus ending the "Age of Taurus" (about 2000 BC based on the Vernal Equinox - or about 11,500 BC based on the Autumnal Equinox).
Dude, I am totally going to base a pulp adventure apocalyptic cult on this passage. I'm not sure why they want to bring into existence a second sun to dramatically change the earth's axis and orbit, but I don't think pulp fiction requires terribly clear apocalyptic goals beyond the apocalypse itself.
I celebrated by playing a TEN HOUR game of TITAN. Much like the Earth, much of the game was spent sending monsters in circles. Take that, sleep schedule!
Old school slugathon, yo! I wasn't fully aware there was a new edition out until someone asserted that claim yesterday. Based on the pictures, I'm not sure I like the new design -- the old dusty cardboard feeling is part of the attraction. Of course, being able to own it is also part of the attraction, so I may acquire the new one at some point. Maybe the new edition has clearer wording on some of the dusty corners of the rules.
A Sunny Perihelion to you, my warm and bright friend!