Monday, September 22, 2008
Happy Fall Y'all!! A Great Start to A New Season
The Prangleys' already have the pots and pans out ready to bang. This is how we bring in the new seasons and of course Ground Hog Day and yes we will all go out to dinner. The autumn equinox is here! This is only one of two days when the sun's direct rays pass over the equator at high noon. Equinox means "equal nights". Why then do we have more than 12 hours of daylight? Today we actually have 12 hours and 9 minutes of daylight. There are two reasons for this. First of all, the sun's rays are bent or refracted as they pass through our paper thin atmosphere. We see the sun before it rises because of this and after it really sets. The definition of a sunrise and sunset also can throw our perfect balance of daylight out of whack. If you look at the definition it states that the sunset takes place when the top of the sun's disc touches the horizon, not its center. A sunrise is also defined as when the top of the sun's disc reaches the horizon. Since we are not talking about the center point this can also cause our equal days and nights to not be so equal this time of year. The amazing part is that once you get to the Arctic Circle, they will not have their equal nights until the first week of October. Here in Lafayette we have our first real equal day and night or as close as it will get to being equal on September 25th. Our sunrise will be at 7:38 a.m. and the sun will say goodnight at 7:39 p.m.
This is one of two myths I am dispelling on tonight's newscast. You will have to tune in at 11 p.m. to see if Niccole can balance an egg on the equinox. You see above that Abbey did not have much luck above before I came in to work. Did I need to teach her a trick? The answer is no. The egg trick on the equinox is a hoax. If you cannot balance an egg on the equinox you cannot do it any time of year. Niccole found that out on the set and we had fun with it! The earth points straight up this time of year with respect to the sun. This 90 degree angle does not mean there is no tilt which in fact would impact gravity. The truth of the matter is the earth has the same tilt throughout the year. It just happens that we have more direct sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere during the summer than the winter becaus of the earth's orbit around the sun. This 23.5 degree tilt of the earth on its axis is what gives us our seasons and this does not change. Now if you want to balance an egg, here is what you do. Wet the bottom of it and get a little salt. This should make the egg stand up, but now you know it certainly has nothing to do with the equinox. Now I am hungry for an omelette!!