Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Curvature

Monday night around 11:00 p.m. Anchorage time, about an hour before we landed, I happened to look out the window of the plane. I was looking eastward and saw something I didn't expect - at our altitude of about 34,000' I could see what looked like dawn breaking on the horizon.

I sat there and thought about time, and pondered the rotation and curvature of the Earth at these more northerly latitudes. I am used to 37 degrees north latitude. Anchorage is at 61 degrees north. Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park, where I will be spending the summer, is around 58 degrees north. I have flown at night at the mid-latitudes of the southern mainland US and also of Hawaii, and have never seen the dawn light in the sky in the middle of the night.


The image with this post was photographed this evening at 9:33 p.m. from my motel room window. Time of sunset was 9:57 p.m.

It is only April 28th, with almost 8 weeks to go until the summer solstice. I wonder what the night sky will be like on that day.

2 comments:

  1. I am wondering what the full moon looked like from way up yonder! thanks for the enlightenment.

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  2. Hey, Miz Judy,
    It will also be interesting to be out at Katmai (little light pollution to diminish the intensity of the night sky, I hope, and as long as it's not cloudy) and see where the North Star and Big/Little Dippers and other constellations are located in the sky.
    Whatever your latitude happens to be, that is apparently the angle above the horizon where you will see the Star. Makes sense, really.

    With so much daylight during the summer, the full moon seen during the day is supposed to be a phenomenom in itself. I read where it's really pronounced in the Arctic but I won't be that far north.
    I'm also hoping to be lucky enough to see the aurora borealis but this will probably be more into Sept, I expect. It might occur in early May, but can I stay up (or get up?) at that time of the morning? I guess I'd better!!!

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