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winter solstice Reference Libraries

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Summer Solstice Midsummer
2011-06-20 11:32:36

The Summer Solstice, or "Midsummer," derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), occurs exactly when the Earth's axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'. This is the time when the Sun is at its highest, or most northerly, point in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere. Except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous for many months...

Ecliptic
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Ecliptic -- The ecliptic is the geometric plane that contains the orbit of the Earth. The orbits of most planets in the Solar System lie very close to it. Seen from the Earth, this is the great circle on the celestial sphere that contains the different positions of the Sun relative to the background stars throughout the year, and most planets can be seen close this circle. The zodiac...

Word of the Day
sough
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'
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