Thursday, November 01, 2007

Only six more weeks 'till winter!

One positive aspect about blogging with this week's holidays is that I can recycle past blogging ideas with impunity, and then just chalk it up to zombie posts -- topics that I won't let die until they get into your brain. Or maybe it's just that I'm lazy.

But today is an astronomical holiday! The date of All Saints Day was set to coincide with one of the year's four cross-quarter days, the day exactly halfway between a solstice and an equinox. I've talked about cross-quarter days before. So, today we are approximately halfway between the autumnal equinox (the first day of fall, when the sun appears to cross Earth's equator on its path southward) and the winter solstice (the first day of winter, when the sun reaches its southernmost point for the year, and the Northern Hemisphere has its shortest day).

Actually, today is not the exact halfway point, and, astronomically speaking, there is no interesting event. But it does explain why Halloween falls when it does in the calendar, and so qualifies as a bit of trivia that may win you $100 on Jeopardy! someday.

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