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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring has Sprung


  • One of the effects of equinoctial periods is their temporary disruptive effect on communications satellites. For most geostationary satellites, there is almost always a point when the sun is directly behind the satellite relative to Earth. The Sun's immense power and broad radiation spectrum overload the Earth station's reception circuits with noise and, depending on antenna size and other factors, temporarily disrupt or degrade the circuit. The duration of those effects varies but can range from an hour to a few minutes.
  • Folk tales from various European countries claim that only on the March equinox day (some may add the September equinox day or may explicitly not), one can balance an egg on its point. However you can balance an egg on its point any day of the year if you have the patience.
  • Although the word "equinox" implies equal length of day and night, as is noted elsewhere, this simply isn't true. For most locations on earth, there are two distinct identifiable days per year when the length of day and night are closest to being equal. Those days are commonly referred to as the "equiluxes" to distinguish them from the equinoxes. Equinoxes are points in time, but equiluxes are days. By convention, equiluxes are the days where sunrise and sunset are closest to being exactly 12 hours apart.
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