Today is the Summer Solstice 2013
The longest day of the year and the first day of summer. It has been a landmark day on the human calendar for untold centuries. And always a good day to have a party! And as an extra added attraction we get a “Supermoon” to go with it in a couple of days! How cool is that!
Summer Solstice Not What It Used to Be
For many of the ancients, the summer solstice wasn’t just an excuse to party or pray—it was essential to their well-being. Associated with agriculture, the summer solstice was a reminder that a turning point in the growing season had been reached.
“The calendar was very important—much more important than it is now,” said Ricky Patterson, an astronomer at the University of Virginia. “People wanted to know what was going to happen, so that they could be ready.”
But for many modern cultures—and Americans in particular—the solstices and equinoxes no longer attract the same kind of attention they once did.
“The only people who really pay attention to what’s going on outside on a regular basis are the neo-pagans in America and farmers, because it’s important for their growing and harvest seasons,” said Jarita Holbrook, a cultural astronomer at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “But we’re pretty much an indoor culture at this point … so we have less of a connection to the sky.”
Adler’s Hammergren said he doesn’t feel too bad about the declining significance of the solstices in modern society. “Ancient cultures and some modern religions pay very, very close attention to certain natural alignments … and there’s a lot of mysticism and special supernatural significance attached to them,” he said. “The fact that we don’t pay attention to that stuff as much anymore, I think, is a rational thing.”
The University of Arizona’s Holbrook, however, thinks there are certain benefits in keeping the tradition alive. “Paying attention to the solstices is a way of teaching mathematics, celestial mechanics, and astronomy, culture, and history,” she said. “It is also a pretty good party.”‘
Excerpt from National Geographic article
With that out of the way, on to the SUPERMOON!
An Extreme Supermoon occurs when the new or full moon is at 100 percent greater mean perigee. The view of the moon this weekend will therefore be an Extreme Supermoon as it passes 356,991 kilometers away from the Earth, compared to its “typical” distance of 384,400 kilometers.
You can start your info updates here.
Just thought I would pass that on. Not like you needed to know this but it is nice to have some other good things to talk about for a change.
Enjoy the info! Bob
- Summer Solstice 2013: Ancient Cultures Saw Season as Time of Growth (scienceworldreport.com)
- Celebrating Litha – The Summer Solstice (naturalpantheist.wordpress.com)
- Summer Solstice Blessing (lifewithlelah.wordpress.com)