Entries tagged "sunrise"
Prickly lettuce is known to some of its navigating friends as the 'compass plant' and to its Roman friends as 'lactuca serriola'.
In truth it is only one of many plants with the compass plant nickname (Silphium laciniatum in the US is another one), but it has earned it.
In open ground, the leaves of the main stem are aligned north-south, offering the least surface area to the midday sun, but the maximum area to the weaker light of the start and end of the day. (This is a similar logic to the N-S alignment…
Not too many words needed this morning.
Venus at dawn, over a misty valley. You might just be able to make out Arcturus, hiding behind the broadest part of the middle contrail, near the top left of the picture.
The contrails are aligned broadly southeast-northwest as usual.
And here is how things looked quarter of an hour earlier. Quarter of an hour is a good chunk of time in the dawn business. Arcturus is easier to spot here, nestled in just under the three contrail lines.
In the desert of western Peru there are the remnants of a civilization that still holds many mysteries.
Archaeoastromomers are able to deduce a few things about the ancient complex at Chankillo, from the alignment of 13 towers.
The towers form a north-south line, but this is not that unusual in ancient buildings. The thing that sets these towers apart is the fact that they span the annual range of sunrise, from winter or June solstice (northernmost tower) to summer or December solstice (southern tower), when viewed from a certain point.
There is a good view…
It would be true to say that I would not be writing this blog if the sun rose in the same place each day. I don't mean that in a very general sense, it's not because the whole world would be very different and maybe the dinosaurs would have survived and humans would never have evolved, blah, blah...
No, it is because in the spring of 2008 I was busy trying to work out whether there was any point in trying to make a living by teaching natural navigation, or not. Whether, perhaps, that was the stupidest idea…
Just managed to snap the 'supermoon' as it rose above the woodland to the east of me. This photo was taken tonight at 19.03 GMT.
Tonight's moon is the first time that a full moon has coincided with perigee, that is the moment when the moon is closest in its orbit, for 18 years. This is no ordinary perigee either, the moon will be 30,000 miles closer to Earth than usual. The result is what has been nicknamed a 'supermoon'.
The best time to appreciate its enlarged size is when it is close to your horizon, rising…
I woke very early this morning and felt restless so headed into the Downs for a walk. I listened to the Shipping Forecast in the car on the way, feeling instantly integrated into the fragmented dawn community of fishermen and farmers.There were some spectacular sights as the sun rose and fought back the mist over the Arun Valley. The views were filled with colour experiments too as the pinks and oranges of the sky rose in a crescendo that battled with the whites and greens closer to the ground. In the end the orange clashed too grossly with the yellows…
Happy Spring Equinox!My plans this morning, as announced in the Telegraph, were to head to the top of a hill and catch the sun rising due east. Sadly, the air is cooler than its dewpoint... the humidity is greater than 100%... there is a low level of nimbostratus... however you want to put it: the weather is not very good and the visibility is terrible.Had I been able to see the sun it would have risen due east. The vernal and autumnal equinoxes being the only two days of the year when the sun rises due east.Something that you…
This is not the glorious image of the winter solstice sunrise that I had been planning for you. Events conspired against that.
The original plan had been to drive up to a semi-secret location in the South Downs and take a picture of the sun rising in what were originally forecast to be clear cold skies.
Yesterday morning I was driving the four miles from home to the gym but all four wheels of the Land Rover Defender lost traction on black ice and I slid headfirst into a substantial tree at about 25 miles-per-hour. I walked…
Dawn is a critical and exciting time for the natural navigator, it sets up the day. It is also a time of rapid change, I took the second of these two photographs only one hour after the first yesterday morning, but that need not catch us off guard.
With experience it is possible to tell that this moon is two days off a new moon, which means that it will rise two of my fist-widths (24 degrees) ahead of the sun. The sun travels through…