2011 Winter Solstice or Your House as a Solar Observatory

A simple but great sculpture by Nancy Holt in Utah, celebrating the ancient ceremonies at winter solstice is on my all time favorite website: www.apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap111222.html
I celebrated the Solstice at 8:15 this morning (December 22) in Perrysburg when the sun rose and shone right through the house from its unique Southernmost direction.

The left side photo is taken from the North side of the house looking straight at the sunrise.

The right side photo shows where I am hanging a print of the first photo, in the exact spot on the North wall, illuminated by the sun only on December 21 or 22 (the sun spot is not on the photo because it had moved away by the time I got the iPad stuck to the wall!).

It worked for me  on both first and second floors (see second row of photos). I hope to repeat the measurements for the Summer Solstice and the Equinoxes, but it helps here not having leaves on the trees right now.






(Alice is more interested in Aya’s catnip mouse than astronomy).







(The Black Prince, Pinot is more interested in sitting on the warm radiator).

Here’s a good alignment that occurred a week after the solstice. There are no trees near this line of sight and the spot on the wall is small and relatively precise being a good distance from the window where the sun shines into the house.








I’ll place a photo there and see if it is directly illuminated again same time next year.

I found this 6 month old sunrise photo, taken in July about 4 weeks after the Summer Solstice, looking North-East along the top deck.

It shows the sun is rising about 78 degrees further to the North than right now at the end of December.

The best fun will be at the March and September equinoxes: then I’ll only have to wait 6 months to see if I can get two sunspots to occur in exactly the same spot.

In the Contemporary Art Museum in Chicago a few days ago I found this most timely still life by Windsor, Ontario artist Iain Baxter.

It brought back fond memories of Glenn Osborn’s Photoshopped great collage masterpiece “Homage to DeHeem” which won Best of Show (Area Artists) at the Toledo Art Museum in 2007.

It’s almost two years since Glenn sadly left us, with a great musical wake to remember him by.

Happy Solstice and Holidays to all, with a Photoshopped image of what the Maumee Xmas lights, just over the river, would look like through rainy glass – we have NO SNOW, or ice yet!