Astronomy 101: what is a solstice?
This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about the solstice. There’s Eid al-Adha greetings from listener Najimuddin from India, musings on gratitude and happiness, great music, and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the “Audio” arrow above and enjoy!
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This week’s quiz: On 20 June, I asked you a question about the solstice - on that day, it was the winter solstice for the southern hemisphere and the summer solstice for the northern hemisphere. I asked you to write in with a simple definition of what happens, astronomically, during a solstice.
The answer is: At its simplest, a solstice is when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator. This happens twice a year: around 20 June, when the sun reaches its northernmost point on the celestial sphere, and around 22 December, when it reaches its southernmost point. The solstice in June marks the longest day of the year for the northern hemisphere and the shortest day of the year for the southern hemisphere. The reverse is true for the December solstice: it’s the shortest day of the year for the northern hemisphere and the longest day of the year for the southern.
The winners are: Sultan Mahmud Sarker, the president of the Shetu RFI Listeners Club in Naogaon, Bangladesh; Ali Shahzad, a member of the RFI Seven Stars Radio Listeners Club in District Chiniot, Pakistan; Muhammad Shamim S, the president of the RFI Golden Eagles Club in Keralam State, India, and two RFI Listeners Club members: Amena Khanam Sale from Naranganj, Bangladesh and Muhammad Nasyr from Katsina State, Nigeria.
Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: The second movement from Maurice Ravel's Quartet in F, performed by the Fine Arts Quartet; "Here Comes the Sun" by George Harrison, performed by Classical Gas; "The Flight of the Bumblebee" by Nicolas Rimsky-Korsakov, and "Alf Lela We Lela", by Baleegh Hamdy and Morse Gamel Aziz, sung by Umm Kulthum.
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This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 28 September to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 3 October podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.
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