Earth comes closest to the sun (perihelion) tomorrow. Meanwhile, the December solstice took place on December 21. Are the December solstice and January perihelion related? No. It’s just a coincidence that they come so close together. Click inside to see when perihelion will fall at the March equinox.
The date of New Year’s Day seems so fundamental that it’s almost as though nature ordained it. But New Year’s Day is a civil event. Its date is not precisely fixed by a seasonal marker.
I’ve already invited the kids for black-eyed peas, greens and cornbread on New Year’s Day. As a born-and-raised U.S. southerner, I wouldn’t dream of passing a New Year’s Day without eating at least a few black-eyed peas. It occurred to me to wonder why this food – plus the greens and the cornbread – are considered lucky for New Year’s. I found out that this deep tradition of the U.S. South dates back to the Civil War.
Happy birthday January babies! Your birthstone, the garnet, symbolizes a light heart, loyalty and enduring affections.
The name “garnet” is derived from the Latin “granatum” meaning “pomegranate” because the crystals resemble the red color and seed-like form of this fruit.
The moon is waning now, and the evening sky is free of bright moonlight. By this weekend, the only moon you see will be a waning crescent in the hours before dawn. Good weekend to go camping and observe some dark skies! You might wonder … how many stars can you see with the eye alone?
The video above shows a famous sliding stone of Death Valley’s Racetrack Playa in motion. See it? It’s the big rock in the foreground. Watching this video, you become one of the first people on Earth to see a sliding stone in motion. Although their tracks across Racetrack Playa – a dry lake bed in Death Valley – have been observed and studied since the early 1900s, no one had ever seen the stones in motion … until recently. What’s more, the researchers who captured this video say they now know what causes the stones to move.
The Star of Bethlehem, or Christmas Star, is mentioned in the Bible. It’s said to have led the three wise men to Bethlehem. But was the Christmas Star a real object in the sky? Or was it just a symbol?
Those who admire the shape of a Christmas tree might like to know that its shape has evolved in response to wind, snow, and light.
Many believe Earth’s changing distance from the sun causes the change in the seasons. But that is not the case.