Saturday, December 21, 2013

Porthgain, 9:06 am

Porthgain is a coastal village in Wales. This photo of a ruined cottage was taken near our campsite, a short way from the village.

Being from Calcutta (22.57° N, 88.37° E), it took me some time to get used to the fact that in London, the sun is never directly overhead. The closest it gets is a solar elevation angle (the angle between the horizon and the centre of the sun's disc) of about 62° (where 90° is directly overhead).

Yesterday I was speaking to a friend (also from India) who has just moved into a new flat. She said, "My flat faces west, but it doesn't get direct sunlight in the afternoon. And we observed that even at noon, the sun is not overhead. Do you know why?"

At this latitude, this is just about the worst time of the year for someone who likes the sun directly overhead. The solar elevation angle in London at noon today will be just over 15°.

Happy solstice, everyone.