24
Jun
13

6.24.13 … Summer Solstice 2013 and Super Moon: it’s completely coincidental …

Summer Solstice 2013, Super Moon 2013, astronomy, Summer, culture, history: 

This year’s summer solstice also stands out because it will be followed shortly after by the largest “supermoon” of the year. In the early hours of Sunday, June 23, the moon will officially reach its full phase and will be the closest to Earth that it will be all year.

While the astrology-minded might be tempted to see significance in the timing of the two celestial events, there is no connection, said Mark Hammergren, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

“People draw this connection between [the supermoon] and the summer solstice, but it’s completely coincidental,” he added.

The solstices are the results of Earth’s north-south axis being tilted 23.4 degrees relative to the ecliptic, the plane of our solar system. This tilt causes different amounts of sunlight to reach different regions of the planet during Earth’s yearlong orbit around the sun.

Adler’s Hammergren said he doesn’t feel too bad about the declining significance of the solstices in modern society.

“Ancient cultures and some modern religions pay very, very close attention to certain natural alignments … and there’s a lot of mysticism and special supernatural significance attached to them,” he said. “The fact that we don’t pay attention to that stuff as much anymore, I think, is a rational thing.”

The University of Arizona’s Holbrook, however, thinks there are certain benefits in keeping the tradition alive.

“Paying attention to the solstices is a way of teaching mathematics, celestial mechanics, and astronomy, culture, and history,” she said. “It is also a pretty good party.”

via Summer Solstice 2013: Why It’s the First Day of Summer.


1 Response to “6.24.13 … Summer Solstice 2013 and Super Moon: it’s completely coincidental …”



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