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12. 31. 2008

Here comes the sun


At last the days are beginning to get longer in the Northern Hemisphere. The winter solstice took place at 12:04UT on Sunday, December 21. And not a moment too soon.

Cue: George Harrison. This strikes me as a bit mournful. It's from a Brit concert about 20 years ago, with trombones and assorted luminaries: Richard Starkey, and is that Elton on piano? See if you can identify the others.

No ID necessary for the incomparable Nina Simone's smoky-but-welcoming version.

I will leave it to Ann-Marie Imbornoni of Infoplease to explain the winter solstice a bit. Here's a somewhat more technical version from Eric Weisstein's World of Astronomy.

The US's National Aeronautics & Space Agency is collaborating with the European Space Agency to study the sun. The project is called SOHO, the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory. The photo (above) was shot October 10. It's striking all right, but I picked it largely for the title: Unfurling Prominence Eruption.

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