Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Is Here

 The Spring Equinox occurred at 10:28 UT today and the table in the Wikipedia article for the time of day that the Sun crosses the equator appears to range throughout but this is somewhat deceiving since the time between Equinoxes differs slightly from the time it takes for the Earth to complete its orbit. It's the reason we have leap years. If one looks at the deviations from the mean time of the Equinox the variation appears to be less that 10 minutes for the decade or about 1 part in 52,595. Most of this variation is probably due to the perturbing influence of the position of the Moon.

There is also a slow change in the position that the Celestial Equator crosses the Ecliptic due to the Earth's Axial Precession which in turn is due to gravitational torques of the Moon, Sun and other planetary bodies acting on the Earth's equatorial bulge.

Maia was an ancient fertility goddess who appears to have been associated with the growth and renewal of springtime. In ancient Greek maia meant lady but she was also known as a midwife. It may not be a coincidence that in poetry she is associated with magic and enchantment considering the similarity of the Greek word for magic, μαγεία. She is definitely beguiling.

Supplemental (Mar 21): The product of a little free association this morning:

   incantation               μέγας                                                              μηχανικός  
      chant                     mes                                                                  craft
      chant                                                                                           handycraft
     cantus                                                                                          rural crafts

  lyre                    herma

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