Why we have the midnight Sun and the North Star
North Cape, Norway
Why we have the midnight Sun and the North Star North Cape Reviews
Oct 27, 2007
"Why do we have midnight sun?" did a guy ask me, so I decided to make a small drawing about why we have the Midnight sun and perhaps something else that is good to know. I would recommend that you take a good look at the picture before reading.
The big circle is naturally the Earth. The earth is acting like a gyroscope , meaning that the North pole is always pointing at a fixed place regardless of our orbit around the sun. In modern times Polaris or the North Star as its also called has been the definition of north. So all the stars and rotating around the Polaris.
PS: If you want to find Polaris just look in the constellation Ursa Minor. Well , where is that you might ask? Find the "back wheel" of the Ursa Major (Or the Big Dipper as its also called) and point a line in the direction of the "Rear Bumper" of Ursa Major and Polaris should be around 6-7times the distance from "The Wheel" to "The Bumper" in Ursa Major in the same direction. Its the Brightest star in Ursa Minor.
In 2006 Polaris where maximum 46' away from the true North, which is 0.783 degrees for you landlubbers, but our ancient forefathers did not have a pole star and nor will our descendants since its moving, and is gradually going to move much more , which again means that its not pointing towards north.
Well , lets get back to the midnight sun:
The Axial tilt of the Earth is 23.439281 (I'm abbreviates the value to 23.5 from now on)degrees which means that the angle between Zenith/Nadir and the poles are maximum 23.5degrees. The Axial tilt is FIXED, so its earth posision in its orbit around the sun that decides the different seasons.
The drawing its the earth on the far ends of its orbit on each side of the sun(solstice), which again means that in this specific position there is midnight sun a little above the arctic/antarctic circle, if else you have to go further north or south , but there is no permanent settlement below the antarctic circle (other than a few scientists and some animals). The longest day on the Northern Hemisphere occurs 20-21th of June on the northern hemisphere , and December 21 or 22 on the southern hemisphere.
On the other side we have Equinox. Equinox is the two times of the year when the sun can be observed directly above (90degrees) the equator. This happens around March 20 and September 23. The sun can be seen directly above for people living within 23.5degrees of Equator. Its in the GREEN AREA
My own comment: Information like this is really great to know if you are out on a clear night and are trying to impress someone of the opposite sex. There is also a star called ALKAID, and its real fun just pointing up at AL Qaeda and making a joke about Al qaeda is going to to rise in the east and set in the west.
Hope you enjoyed this, if you did please tell me and I'll might make another review of the stars.
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