[LINK] Could Google be wrong?

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Sun Jun 21 16:28:53 EST 2009

On 2009/Jun/21, at 5:05 AM, Jan Whitaker wrote:

> At 11:30 AM 21/06/2009, Tom Koltai wrote:
>> Therefore, I would suggest that Google have it right.
> me, too. I always feel compelled to explain to relatives in the
> Northern Hemisphere why 1 June or whatever other seasonal change
> month is not on the solstice or equinox [the other two are equinoxes,
> Tom. ;-) ] My first experience of this back in '88 generated quite a
> bit of scrambling around the tea room when I asked the same question.
> I don't think anyone in the room knew and assumed it was the first of
> the month everywhere else in the world. I was in Adelaide at the
> time. No offense to Adelaideians.
> One of the snide answers was that the first of the month was easier
> to remember. Made sense to me.

To astronomers the solstices and equinoxes represent the centre point  
of the season.  When I was growing up I would always wonder why they  
would say on the radio and TV the 1st of September was the start of  

The way I figured it at the time was that the astronomical point of  
the start of a season wasn't as useful in terms of weather because of  
the thermal inertia of the earth.  Actually I later found it was  
called the thermal mass.

The half way point between the solstices and equinoxes would be the  
astronomical start of winter: say the middle of May.  That'd be the  
pagan start of winter.

In Italy the 1st of June is considered the start of summer.  That is  
when they open outdoor swimming pools.  Not a day earlier or later.   
This though would have to be somewhat latitude dependant.  When would  
they open outdoor pools in Denmark for instance?  July?  August?

The solstices and equinoxes are always around the 21 - 22 of the  
month.  Nearly at the end of the month.  I wonder why that is?  Why  
not right at the end of the month?  Perhaps because they do wander  
around a bit and the people who created our current calendar (that  
would be the Italians) didn't want them to ever wander to the next  
month because people might have got confused.  Just a thought.

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
Ph: +39 06 855 4294  M: +39 3494957443
mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
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