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More questions than answers

November 4, 2013

During the last couple of years or so, I have become interested in the movement of the Earth and moon around the Sun, trying to visualise or really understand things. So far, I am failing dismally. Yes, I can understand the movements in a general sense, but not with any rigour.

Take for instance the position of the Sun at sundown at our villa in Turkey (the villa is aptly named Sundown):



Looking westwards at sundown, July 2013




Looking westwards at sundown, Oct 2013


The views look westward, of course, so that North is to the right, South to the left. In Manchester there is not such a thing as sundown (well, not a frequently visible one) and the 'noise' from all the buildings etc disguise the view: so this is for me the first time I had seen the movement so clearly.

It is 'commonsense' that the Sun 'moves' southward towards winter [or, the Earth moves northwards]: and so if it were viewed across the year, the Sun would oscillate right to left, left to right through the year. But seeing how this is caused by the rotation of the Earth, and on particular the Earth's tilt, and the position at the solstices and equinoxes is beyond me.

Hopefully, a combination of google and YouTube will help, and maybe one day it will click, but my spatial awareness is mainly on a 8*8 flat board, and I am struggling to get a proper understanding.

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