Wed Apr 5, 2017 SUN, SOLAR YEAR AND ECLIPTIC

Apr 5, 2017

Watch the sun and you’ll discover it gets around. But of course you can’t watch the sun, because it’s too bright to look at without hurting your eyes. If you could somehow dim down the sun enough, you could also see the stars in the sky at the same time. (Actually, there are times when this happens – during total solar eclipses.)Assuming you could see the sun and stars at the same time, you’d notice the sun drifts eastward like the moon, although not as fast as the moon. The moon moves 13 degrees a day; the sun only moves about 1 degree a day. After 365 days, the sun would return to conjunction with the star it had been beside exactly a year ago. A solar year, then is the amount of time it takes the sun to go once around the heavens, and the invisible line that traces out that path is called the ecliptic. The constellations through which the sun passes each year is called the zodiac, and the ecliptic is its central line.