For a long time humanity has relied on technology to help us understand more about the natural world. For example, we can look up at the moon all we want, but without technology we would never see the detailed ridges on its surface or know what its dust is like. Observations and collecting data are just two of the many ways that technology can play a role in celestial happenings. So, how did technology play a role in the recent episode with Comet ISON?
At 12:47 pm today, December 21, 2009, winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere. The first day of winter is called the Winter Solstice; likewise, the first day of summer is the Summer Solstice. The word solstice is derived from Latin and means “sun standing still.” On these two days of the year, the sun’s apparent position in the sky has reached its most southern or northern extreme. Today there will only be 9 hours and 33 minutes of daylight in Richmond, but tomorrow the number of daylight hours will once again begin to increase.