Living in the tropics—the overhead sun

Celestial lights

Living in the tropics—the overhead sun

By Phyllis Burton Pitluga

On Saturday May 24 from 1 to 2pm at Charco del Ingenio Botanic Garden, we will gather in the Solar Observatory in the Children’s Area to follow the image of the sun, thus discovering where it is at local noon. The event will be in Spanish and English and includes interested people of all ages.

Sun watching
Sat, May 24, 1-2pm
Children’s Area
Charco del Ingenio

We will use the markings on the floor of the observatory to follow the apparent changes in the sun throughout the year here in San Miguel de Allende. This includes seeing when the Earth orbits faster and when it orbits more slowly.

Next, we will use the drawings on the wall to see why these changes occur in our sky (and thus, on the floor). From this we see how San Miguel is part of the overhead sun cycle in the tropics of planet Earth. We will also discuss how the Mayan Sacred Calendar, based upon a cycle of 260 days, could be from this type of observation.

As a bonus, we discover how we can use the information charted on the floor by the moving the sun dot throughout the year to calculate our latitude, how far north of the equator we are. Every time you visit El Charco de Ingenio, you can visit this Solar Observatory to make more discoveries on your own.


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