When the sun sets

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The sun was setting and the sky turned pink at spode today. I looked up and saw the moon. A tiny bit bigger than half moon and I realised that you could work out where the sun was setting. Basically imagine you were shining a torch on a ball. If the torch was directly to the side if the ball the ball would be exactly half light and 🌗 half dark  Now if the torch was lower but shining directly on the ball it would be half light and half dark but tipped at an angle depending how low below the horizon the torch (or ☀ sun) was. Now imagine if the torch was level but was shining slightly to the side of the moon nearest us? Then the line between light and dark would shift and curve. The line shifts every night till full moon, then as it passes full moon the shadow starts to get cast on the other side. This leads to the understanding that when we get an eclipse the Earth gets directly between the Moon and the Sun… . Oh I know all of this is simple, but I’d never actually thought it out for myself……

P.S. now 5 hours later the angle of the moon is tipped up so that the curve is on a slant … so the sun is clearly lower down and the moon has moved. .but it also shows the world is rotating too…

Sunshine

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Dear Sun, sweet heat,

giver of light, fire starter,

Star of our solar system,

GREAT gravity grabber.

Giant who makes us look small.

A speck, nothing at all?

Without you we would freeze,

Star less day is night.

One day you will bloat,

as you cool and burn yourself out?

Expanding to our orbit or more,

In a few billion years or so,

By then humans will have changed, evolved or become extinct,

Farewell Sun. Light of my life.

 

Rhyl Air show

A sunny August bank holiday weekend, at least today, forecast is for rain tomorrow……

Rhyl beach is long and sandy, there were food stalls and lots of things on show including the RNLI and RAF and Royal British Legion for the Poppy appeal.

We walked along the coastal path, towards the town and watched planes zipping by, aerobatics, an old Blenheim and a couple of Spitfires. All free, and as we had walked down from my sisters house we didn’t have to pay for parking!

Rhyl airshow takes place every August Bank holiday, when a free show is held and the planes fly out over the sea. There can be big crowds but it was not bad today….lots of space on the sand and great viewing conditions.

First we saw a five plane aerobatic team, then an old autogyro from the 1960’s, later on old war planes, a Blenheim and a Dakota and two Spitfires. There were other planes following, looping the loop, doing stalls and twists, soon there was a fighter jet trainer shooting across the sky.

The climax was a team of around 6 red devil parachutists, falling from the sky with smoke trails. I say 6 as the sun was shining in my eyes and I could not see the screen of my phone. As there parachutes opened they also flew the welsh flag below them. Brilliant afternoon. I even got slightly sunburnt!

I managed to get a few reasonable photos on my old Samsung phone, I also did some quick sketches of the planes.

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Skies

One thing about living in a temperate climate in the Midlands of England is the variations in the sky. We might have just had one of the hottest summer’s on record, but like most people here I am waiting for the rain to come back. The country usually gets enough, but at the moment satellite imagery shows the grass burnt to brown instead of the greens of summers. Trees seem to be fairing better because they have deep roots. But hopefully when the rain comes down from the sky the land will recover.

Skies….

Clouds fly on the breezes and winds,

Blue skies soon turn grey,

Magic sunsets illuminate the sky,

Stars shine out on high.

Shooting stars obscured by clouds,

Planet’s seem so bright.

Moon and Sun in turn appear,

Sometimes Moon hides Sun.

Look up, look up, into the air, not just to the ground,

Above your head the sky astounds,

The world below is gone.

 

Well I do like skies. There is something called the cloud appreciation society which has interesting information about clouds. They suggest blue skies are boring, and watching the different sorts of clouds is the thing to do, from cirrus, cumulo nimbus, asperatus, mammatus, stratus, so many names. New cloud formations identified. ..

Skies are such a barometer (no pun intended) of our atmosphere. I would hate to live in a country where the weather stayed the same for months.

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Sunshine

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An ode about the heat and fires around the world this year.

 

Sun shines high in the sky,

leaves turn  so crisp and dry,

Green turns to Brown,

Frazzled flowers wilt.

 

Sun shines up in the sky,

Birds will still try to fly,

Some fall right down

We feel no guilt.

 

Sun flies high in the sky,

Land parched and very dry,

Fires burn a town,

ashes on all that’s built.

 

Sun heats the air and sky,

Animals start to die,

No grass has grown,

No waters lilt.

 

Sunburnt we watch the sky,

Eyes have no tears to cry,

Desert puts on her crown,

No drop of rain is spilled.

 

 

Ways to prove the Earth is not flat!

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I keep hearing about people who think the Earth is flat so I decided to do a thought experiment to see if it is possible…

• If the Earth was flat it would be daytime all over the world at the same time, or night time all over the world.

• The sun would rise at the same time everywhere and set at the same time.

• There would be no equator, and all parts of the world would be at the same temperature.

• There would be no north and south poles and no northern or southern lights.

• There would be no need for time zones.

• Flat earthers say the horizon is flat, but that is because the globe of the Earth has a very large circumference.

• If the Earth was flat boats would not go over the horizon.

• If the Earth was flat you would be able to see all the way to the other side using a powerful telescope on top of a big building.

• If the Earth was flat we would be able to travel to the edge.

• A flat Earth would cast a flat shadow on the moon during an eclipse of the moon. (this is because the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon when it happens and if the Flat side was facing the Sun if would be overhead and you would not see the moon, but it would cast a circular shadow).

•  Finally….If the Earth is flat….what’s on the other side? Is it Elephants and Turtles all the way down? ( according to Terry Pratchett)

Rain and Shine

The UK is one if those weird places in the world where the weather can change at the drop of a hat (or a cold front). The hot dry weather we have experienced over the last few weeks has taken us a bit by surprise.

British people expect changeable weather. If its sunny for a few days, and hot, we expect a thundery breakdown of the weather, raining cats and dogs…. (metaphorically)…If it is raining we expect more of it, or fog or snow, or hail….we can’t get used to it….and yet we are fine if we go abroad, where its always sunny!

Britain lies in a temperate climate, with winds coming towards us from all directions…East winds bringing cold Siberian temperatures or rain from Europe, North winds with storms and snow, West winds with Atlantic gales and low pressures, or areas of high pressure that can bring sun or frost. Heat rising on winds from the South,  dragging up sand from the Sahara ….

There are many sayings in Britain along the lines of “if you can see _____ its going to rain, and if you can’t see _____ it is raining.” That is why its such a green land.

But, we are using too much of the water that we have in reserves, there are canals being closed for the summer because they don’t have enough water. Some reservoirs are almost empty…it is not a crisis yet. It may not get that bad but we are hearing about possible hose pipe bans.

Maybe It is global warming, all I can say is I hope humanity decide to do something about it…..