[Ads-l] solstice

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 23 18:30:56 UTC 2018

Thank you for the responses.

I wasn’t able to access the Berkeley page, but I found a video that helped me understand the concept of the ecliptic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95ZfHttIHYQ <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95ZfHttIHYQ>).

I originally looked at “solstice" because Merriam-Webster’s word of the day feature on Facebook defined it as: the time the sun is farthest from the equator. That’s actually the aphelion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apsis#Earth <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apsis#Earth>), if I understand it correctly, which does not fall on a solstice.

That aside, I think Merriam-Webster’s definition of solstice is unnecessarily difficult to understand.

Formerly of Seattle, WA
Benjamin Barrett

> On 23 Dec 2018, at 06:16, David Wilton <dave at WILTON.NET> wrote:
> Yes, "angular distance" would be better than just "distance." But assuming the celestial equator is an infinite plane, then just "distance" is also correct.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Andy Bach
> Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2018 7:23 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] solstice
> Seems right, though I may have missed where you disagree:
> "Since the *ecliptic* is tilted 23.5 degrees with respect to the *celestial
> equator*, the Sun's *maximum* angular *distance from the celestial equator* is
> 23.5 degrees. This happens at the *solstices*."
> http://w.astro.berkeley.edu/~basri/astro10-03/lectures/StarMotions.htm
> On Sat, Dec 22, 2018 at 5:37 PM Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> It appears to me that Merriam-Webster has this defined incorrectly:
>> https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solstice <
>> https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solstice>
>> either of the two points on the ecliptic at which its distance from the
>> celestial equator is greatest and which is reached by the sun each year
>> about June 21 and December 21
>> Does anyone know enough astronomy to know for sure?

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