The Solar Eclipse

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Eclipses occur when a moon or planet moves into the shadow of another object. In the case of a solar eclipse, the new moon’s shadow falls on the Earth. During a lunar eclipse, the full moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. A solar eclipse can occur only the night of a new moon.

The Solar Eclipse

When the moon passes directly between the sun and Earth, a solar eclipse takes place. (NASA)


Total Solar Eclipse

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Total and Annular solar eclipse. Remember, a solar eclipse can occur only the night of a new moon.

Total solar eclipse 1999 in France.

Total solar eclipse 1999 in France. (Luc Viatour, lucnix.be)


When Earth passes directly between the sun and the moon, a lunar eclipse takes place. (NASA)

The Lunar Eclipse

lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra (shadow).  A lunar eclipse can occur only the night of a full moon.

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Within the central umbra shadow, the moon is totally shielded from direct illumination by the Sun. In contrast, within the penumbra shadow, only a portion of Sunlight is blocked.

Photograph of full moon during the total lunar eclipse of 28 September 2015.

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Summer Solstice At Stonehenge & Egypt

Go Back to Summer


Today, June 21st, is the first day of summer 2017. 

The summer solstice is generally understood to mark the first day of summer. The solstice is a time to recall the reverence and understanding early people had for the sky.
Some 5000 years ago, people placed huge stones in a circle on a broad plain in England and aligned them with the June solstice sunrise.

Around the same time Stonehenge was being constructed in England, two great pyramids and then the Sphinx were built on Egyptian sands.


In Egypt

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The Sun setting between two Pyramids on the first day of the Summer (Summer Solstice seen from the Sphinx)


At The Stonehenge

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Revelers watch as the sun rises over the standing stones at the prehistoric monument Stonehenge


Egyptian-Pyramids
Sphinx in the foreground with the pyramids in the background

The Summer Solstice of 2017

Go Back to Summer


Wednesday at 12:24 a.m. Eastern Time marks the summer solstice.  The Northern Hemisphere will dip toward the sun, basking in its warmth for longer than at any other time. The solstice occurs because the Earth spins on a tilted axis.

1) Why do we have a summer solstice, anyway?

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice is when the northern hemosphere of the Earth is most inclined towards the sun and that is why we get the most daylight of the year. Also shows the area around the North Pole that will see 24 houers of day on the first day of summer because of the Earth’s 23.5 degree tilt.

Okay, most people know this one. Earth orbits around the sun on a tilted axis (probably because our planet collided with some other massive object billions of years ago, back when it was still being formed).

So between March and September, Earth’s Northern Hemisphere gets more exposure to direct sunlight over the course of a day. The rest of the year, the Southern Hemisphere gets more. It’s the reason for the seasons:

2) How many hours of sunlight will I get on Tuesday?

That depends on where you live. The further north you are, the more sunlight you’ll see during the solstice. Alaska-based climatologist Brian Brettschneider created this terrific guide:


Sunrise at Stonehenge on the summer solstice, 21 June 2005

The solstice is a time to recall the reverence and understanding early people had for the sky.
Some 5000 years ago, people placed huge stones in a circle on a broad plain in England and aligned them with the June solstice sunrise.
Around the same time Stonehenge was being constructed in England, two great pyramids and then the Sphinx were built on Egyptian sands
If you stood at the Sphinx on the summer solstice and gazed towards the two pyramids, you’d see the sun set exaactly between them.

17th May, 2017

Go Back to Spring


  1. New Jersey: Green with fresh leaves and lush grass

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2. Luxuriant vegetation

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Note the contrasting image below at the onset of Spring, 2nd April. It is the same spot.

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3. A luxuriant tree

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4. Another luxuriant tree

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5. Growing vigorously during middle of Spring

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6. The lush growth of trees and shrubs.

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7. Tree with its fresh leaves against the blue backdrop in New Jersey

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Teeetops in April

Back to Master Page of Spring


Early Spring (Apr 2)

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Spring blooms April 8, 2017

“When one flower blooms spring awakens everywhere”
― John O’Donohue

“Not only weren’t new ideas coming, I didn’t even FEEL creative” Kerry Gans

“Spring is getting here at last the snow drops are in bud and will bloom in a few days.” Then on April 5 I wrote, “Today our first crocus was in bloom it is very pretty.” I still pay attention to them, and generally note when they come into bloom. Now is the time to decide where you should plant bulbs next fall.

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April 13, 2017

Yesterday when we were in Pittsburg, Rumi was overwhelmed with tree pollens. But I was ok.


April 18 Picture 1

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April 18, Pic 2

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April 18 Pic 3

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April 23, 2016

It’s sneezing and wheezing time

Grabbing the tissue and blowing our nose, sometimes for a long period of time, becomes routine for me starting just around this time.

It’s pollen time.

I get affected just when the big Oaks start blooming. And they start blooming after the small and mid-sized trees. Starting right now.

The cars have a yellow layer. My desk has a coat so discernable that when I pull the tip of my finger across my mouse pad, it leaves a clear trail.

In India, back when I was growing up, I would often hear during this time in smooth uncontaminated বাঙাল:

ওর আউজগা টান উঠসে, ও খেলতে আইবো না।

It was nothing but Spring allergy brought about by pollens. The Calcutta doctors had no concept of Hay fever. There was no medication. Parents had no idea what was going on.

So we would play soccer with the best player missing because তার আজকে “টান” উঠেছে!

Hopefully the level of education about Spring allergy has gone up now .


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