Today is the best day of the year for Astronomy merit badge and worst for Photography. :-)
At 10:28am Central time today, the winter solstice occurs. For the next six months, we'll be getting more and more sunlight each day in the northern hemisphere while our Scouting friends down under are losing it.
Here's an interesting activity to try. Get an 18-inch or so dowel or stick and stand it straight up on end (might need to make a stand for it if the ground is frozen). Mark the tip of its shadow on the ground every 15 minutes from 11am to 1pm, or until the shadow is obvious getting longer. Measure the length of the shortest shadow and write it on the dowel. By the way, from the base of the dowel to that shortest shadow mark is very close to North - check it with your compass.
To find the angle of the sun, go to this page and put 90 as angle C, side b is the height of your stick, and side a is the length of the shadow. Click Calculate and angle B will be the angle of the sun.
Repeat this activity on the spring equinox and summer solstice to see how much difference there really is between summer and winter sun at your location. I'll put my results in a comment below after lunch.
Posted: 7:55 12-21-2017 1336
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