Friday, March 18, 2022

Spring Begins at Vernal Equinox Sunday AM

    http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/pix/graphics/solsticeimage008.png
This diagram shows the position of the Earth, in relation to the Sun, at the time of the Vernal Equinox at the official beginning of the season of Spring in the Earth's Northern Hemisphere (Autumn in Earth's Southern Hemisphere), as well as the other equinox and solstices of the year.
(Graphic Source: ©1999, Eric G. Canali, former Floor Operations Manager of the original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science and technology museum from 1939 to 1991, and Founder of the South Hills Backyard Astronomers amateur astronomy club; permission granted for only non-profit use with credit to author.)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

Spring begins Sunday morning at the moment of the Vernal Equinox in Earth's Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere of Earth, this marks the astronomical beginning of the season of Autumn.

                                                Vernal Equinox on Earth

The Vernal Equinox occurs on Earth at precisely: 11:33 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 15:33 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Sunday, 2022 March 20.

As the diagram at the beginning of this blog-post demonstrates, on the day of Equinox the Sun appears directly overhead at local Noon on the Equator. At the moment of Equinox, the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of Earth are illuminated equally. And, the time of Equinox is the only time when the Earth Terminator (dividing line on Earth between daylight and darkness) is perpendicular to the Equator.

This, and the reason for seasons on Earth in the first place, is due to the fact that Earth rotates on its axis, which is tilted at a 23.439281-degree angle from the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, which is part of the Ecliptic of our Solar System. As the Earth revolves around the Sun, this axial tilt causes one hemisphere of the planet to receive more direct solar radiation during that hemisphere's season of Summer and much less direct solar radiation a half-year later during that hemisphere's season of Winter. As mentioned, during an Equinox (about half-way between Summer and Winter, and about half-way between Winter and Summer) both planetary hemispheres receive an equal amount of solar radiation.

"Vernal" is a Latin term for Spring. Although "Equinox" in Latin means equal-night, the day of the Equinox does not actually have an equal amount of daylight and nightfall, as it appears on the Earth's surface. If the Sun was just a pin-point of light in our sky, as all other stars appear, day and night would be equal.

But, because the Sun is a disk, part of the Sun has risen above the horizon before the center of the Sun (which would be the pin-point of light); so there are extra moments of light on the Equinox. Likewise, part of the Sun is still visible, after the center of the Sun has set.

Additionally, the refraction of sunlight by our atmosphere causes sunlight to appear above the horizon, before sunrise and after sunset.

March 16 marked the Equilux ("equal-light"), the actual day with equal hours and minutes of the Sun above the horizon, and equal hours and minutes of the Sun below the horizon. The Equilux occurs twice each year, approximately 3-to-4 days before the Vernal Equinox and 3-to-4 days after the Autumnal Equinox (Equilux is on September 25, while the Autumnal Equinox is ~ September 22 or 23).

An urban legend that has been making the rounds for decades, now exacerbated by the Internet and Social Media, has it that eggs can be stood on their ends only during an Equinox, whether the Vernal Equinox in the Spring or the Autumnal Equinox in the Fall. This is completely false!

Depending greatly on the size and shape of the particular egg, eggs can be stood on their ends any day of the year! Astronomy has nothing to do with whether an egg can stand on its end. If an egg can stand on its end on the Equinox (and, due to the shape and size of some eggs, this is not even possible), it can stand the same way any other day of the year.

In the last few years, with the help of the Internet and Social Media, another urban legend has become prevalent. Now it is claimed that brooms can stand, on their own, on their bristles, only on an Equinox day. This is also false! Again, as with eggs, if a broom can stand on its bristles by itself (this usually only works with newer brooms, with more even and stiff bristles) on an Equinox, it can do so any day of the year!

In ancient times, the Vernal Equinox was considered the beginning of the new calendar year, as Spring brought new life after the cold Winter months. The calendar year was then defined as the time from one Vernal Equinox to the next. This is known as the Tropical Year: 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds.

This was when most of Western Civilization used the Julian Calendar, recommended by astronomer Sosigenes and approved by Roman leader Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. Due to the difference between the Julian Calendar and the calendar we use today, known as the Gregorian Calendar, the Vernal Equinox then occurred on March 25, later observed by Christians as the Feast of the Annunciation (observed nine full months before Christmas Day). As part of the Gregorian Calendar reform, in October of 1582, Roman Catholic Pope Gregory XIII chose the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ (January 1) as the beginning of the New Year in the Roman Catholic Church's Liturgical Year.

As a legacy to the Vernal Equinox originally considered the beginning of the New Year, astronomers have set the Vernal Equinox as the beginning point of the coordinate system in the sky. Astronomers measure the sky using Right Ascension (measured in hours, minutes, and seconds), which is analogous to Longitude on Earth, and Declination (measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds), which is analogous to Latitude on Earth. Precisely on the Vernal Equinox each year, the sky coordinates are reset to Right Ascension 0 hour, 0 minute, 0 second, and Declination 0 degree, 0 minute, 0 second.

The Vernal Equinox continues to be considered the beginning of the New Year, or an important holy day, in several other places on Earth ---

* Beginning of New Year (using the Solar Calendar) - Nowruz: Afghanistan and Iran / Persia.

* Holy Day for adherents of the Zoroastrian Religion (the three Magi, who the Christian Bible reports visited the Christ Child after following the Star of Bethlehem / Christmas Star, were adherents of the Zoroastrian Religion).

* Holy Day for adherents of the Bahá'í Faith: Baha'i Naw-Ruz, one of nine holy days of the Bahá'í Faith.

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) observe Sun - Earth Day on or near the Vernal Equinox. This is a joint educational program started in 2000, to popularize the knowledge about the Sun, and the way it influences life on Earth, among students and the public. This is part of Solar Week, which is the calendar week that includes the Vernal Equinox.

March 20 is also considered Women in Science Day or Hypatia Day. Hypatia was an astronomer, mathematician, philosopher, and teacher in 5th century Alexandria, Egypt, then part of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was a prominent thinker in Alexandria whose murder (in March of A.D. 415) shocked the empire; she became a secular “martyr for philosophy”. The Vernal Equinox is considered a logical day to celebrate the life of Hypatia, as her last days were dedicated to finding the precise time of the Vernal Equinox.

The first week of Spring, beginning with the Vernal Equinox, has been declared by physicians as Medicine Cabinet Clean-Up Week. To avoid prescription drug abuse, particularly important at this time of the opioid crisis, physicians encourage everyone to get rid of unused and no-longer-needed medications and other drugs, which may have lingered in the household, as part of an annual Spring cleaning. Several states have prescription drug take-back locations, where these drugs can be dropped-off.

The week of the Vernal Equinox is also the beginning of the National Cherry Blossom Festival held each year in Washington, DC, which begins on March 20. This festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the Mayor of Tokyo to the City of Washington. The festival runs through April 17 this year. For 2022, the National Park Service predicts the Peak Bloom of the Cherry Blossoms will be March 22 to 25.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Vernal Equinox: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_equinox

Season of Spring: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_%28season%29

Equinox: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equinox

Earth's Seasons: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Season

Tilt of a Planet's Axis: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_tilt

Sun - Earth Day: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun-Earth_Day 

Women in Science Day / Hypatia Day: Link >>> https://www.change.org/p/canada-s-parliament-commemorating-the-first-female-astronomer-hypatia-of-alexandria

Medicine Cabinet Clean-Up Week: Link >>> https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/include-medicine-cabinets-on-your-spring-cleaning-list-300042760.html 

National Cherry Blossom Festival: Link >>> https://nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/ 

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss

                 Friday, 2022 March 18.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  http://www.planetarium.cc  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>  http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

* Other Walsh Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Roll-Out Thur.: NASA's New Moon Rocket / Fly Your Name Around Moon on Artemis I

                        https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/ksc-20220310-ph-kls01_0022.jpg

Photograph of the Artemis I Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion space capsule,inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA,s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Image Source: NASA)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

NASA's new rocket and space capsule, which will return humans to the Moon including the first woman and the first astronaut of color, will have the official roll-out to the launch pad on Thursday. The mission of Artemis I will be an uncrewed mission around the Moon; anyone can add their name to a flash-drive that will be included in this first mission.

The launch of Artemis I is expected in the late Spring or Summer.

Formerly known as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), Artemis I is the first mission of NASA's Artemis Space Program. Artemis was conceived to take humans back to the Moon, this time for Americans to have a permanent presence on the Moon. In addition to “paving the way for a long-term lunar presence”, NASA describes the Artemis Space Program “as a steppingstone on the way to Mars.” 

The Artemis I mission, the first test flight of Artemis, is expected to last 25.5 days. For 6 of those days, Artemis I will be in a retrograde orbit around Earth's Moon, before returning to Earth. This mission will certify the Orion space vehicle and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for crewed flights. The second  Artemis test flight, Artemis 2, which will take astronauts around the Moon and back to Earth, has an anticipated launch in May of 2024, assuming there are no major problems with Artemis I.

The roll-out of NASA's “mega-rocket” to the Moon, known as “the integrated Space Launch System rocket”, along with the Orion space capsule, will begin at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 21:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Thursday, 2022 May 17. This St. Patrick's Day event will last between 6 and 12 hours as the rocket travels the 4 miles from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. According to a NASA news release, this roll-out event “will include live remarks from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and other guests.”

Live coverage of this event can be found on NASA Television, the NASA App, and the NASA web-site. An Internet link to live coverage of the event can be found near the end of this blog-post.

NASA fans and space enthusiasts have the opportunity to have their name included on a computer flash-drive, which will be included on the Artemis I mission around the Moon. An Internet link to the NASA web-page, which will allow all interested persons to add their name to this flash-drive, can be found near the end of this blog-post.

Brief History of NASA's Human Space Flight Programs

The Apollo Space Program of the late 1960s and early 1970s was America's first program to land humans on the Moon. In Greek mythology, Artemis was the twin of Apollo. Artemis was the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, chastity, AND the Moon. Hence, Artemis is a very appropriate name for the program to take humans back to the Moon.

Apollo 8, which orbited the Moon in December of 1968 but without a landing, was actually the first crewed mission to the Moon. It was Sunday, 1969 July 20 that brought the historic landing and first human footprints on the Moon during the mission of Apollo 11.

The Apollo Space Program had been preceded by the Mercury and Gemini programs, which helped teach us how to fly in Deep Space. Also, there were several uncrewed missions into Earth orbit and to the Moon, such as the Surveyor Space Program which landed several spacecraft on the Moon.

After Earth landing of the Apollo 17 mission, on 1972 December 19, a human presence on the Moon ended for more than 50 years. The originally planned Apollo 18, 19, and 20 missions to the Moon were canceled to save money.

America's first space station, Skylab, was operated with three missions between May of 1973 and February of 1974. NASA studied possible additional missions to Skylab, but none came to fruition. Although expected to stay in orbit until at least the early 1980s, additional solar activity of the era caused additional atmospheric drag on Skylab, which resulted in the de-orbit of the space station in July of 1979 with some remnants falling near Perth, Australia.

The Apollo 18 mission was re-branded as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, a mission which resulted in the docking of an Apollo spacecraft with the Russian Soyuz space capsule on 1975 July 17. In addition to being the first crewed international space mission, this mission is generally considered the end of the Space Race between the United States and Russia, which had begun with the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik on 1957 October 4.

After several years without an American presence in Outer Space, the Space Shuttle Challenger (mission Space Transportation System 1 or STS-1) launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on 1981 April 12 as the first mission of the Space Shuttle Program. While the Space Shuttle launched like a typical rocket, the Space Shuttle returned to Earth as a non-powered glider, landing on an extended runway at Cape Canaveral, as well as at a few other alternate locations. The last Space Shuttle mission, STS-135, occurred 2011 July 21.

During the Space Shuttle era, construction of the International Space Station (ISS) began in November of 1998. The first crew started residing on the International Space Station in November of 2000. The International Space Station may be retired by the end of the current decade, unless members of the private sector decide to keep it flying.

Following the retirement of the Space Shuttle, American astronauts leased space on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to reach the International Space Station. This continued until 2020 May 30 when the SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 became the first mission to launch, into Earth orbit, American astronauts from American soil, since the retirement of the Space Shuttle.

Internet Link to Live Coverage of Artemis I Roll-Out: Link >>> https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive 

 Internet Link to NASA Web-Page to Add Name to Artemis I Flash-Drive: https://www.nasa.gov/send-your-name-with-artemis/

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Artemis Space Program:

Link 1 >>> https://www.nasa.gov/specials/artemis/

Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_program 

Artemis I: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_1

Artemis 2: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_2

Moon: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss

                 Tuesday, 2022 March 15.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
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gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  http://www.planetarium.cc  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>  http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

* Other Walsh Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html

Friday, March 11, 2022

"Spring-Forward" Sun. / How Long Will DST Continue?

https://cmg-cmg-tv-10080-prod.cdn.arcpublishing.com/resizer/phKrZk6DwTEFQSPHknsqryj11oU=/800x0/filters:format(jpg):quality(70):focal(-5x-5:5x5)/cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/cmg/XYLPQXXSDNB6ZASI7PIA64WLHI.JPG

Robert Garland, Pittsburgh City Councilman and business leader, considered the "Father of Daylight Saving Time". (Image Circa 1939; Image Sources: Archives and Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System and WPXI-TV 11, Pittsburgh)

By Glenn A. Walsh

Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

This is the time when most Americans will be advancing their clocks by one hour (except for computerized clocks which advance automatically) in the annual “Spring-Forward” exercise to accommodate Daylight Saving Time, in 48 of America's 50 states. However, several states are considering abandoning Daylight Saving Time, while a few states are even considering moving to a different time-zone, year-round! And, the Federal Government is, again, studying the question of Daylight Saving Time.

The change from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time officially occurs on Sunday, 2022 March 13, at 2:00 a.m. Local Prevailing Time, that is Standard Time in the respective time zone. Official time then becomes 3:00 a.m. Daylight Saving Time for the respective time zone.

This is almost exactly a week before the Vernal Equinox, the beginning of the season of Spring on Sunday. 2022 March 20 at 11:33 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 15:33 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Also, note that, officially, there is no letter “s” after the letter “g” in the word “Saving”, when used in “Daylight Saving Time”.

In many cases, people will advance their clocks by one hour before going to bed Saturday night, unless they choose to advance their clocks as soon as they rise from bed Sunday morning. And, there are always some who forget (and who may be late to church) or procrastinate and need to change their clocks once they remember later on Sunday.

Today, often computers, digital wrist-watches, portable and mobile telephones, video cassette recorders, and so-called "atomic" clocks [clocks which receive radio signals calibrated by atomic clocks operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology via their radio station WWVB (LW)] will automatically switch between Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time. However, if the digital device was manufactured before 2007, the device may make the switch on the wrong dates—that is, the dates which were the authorized time conversion dates before the law was changed in 2007.

Since 2007, the last time the law changed, clocks in America have advanced an hour on the second Sunday of March (previously, the first Sunday in April) and returned ("Fall-Back") to Standard Time on the first Sunday in November (previously, the last Sunday in October). This year, clocks will return to Standard Time on Sunday, 2022 November 6, when 2:00 a.m. Daylight Saving Time will become 1:00 a.m. Standard Time.

The states of Hawaii and Arizona do not observe Daylight Saving Time, except for some Native American nation reservations in Arizona.

Until 2006 April 2, most of the state of Indiana also did not observe Daylight Saving Time. However, there was confusion when certain counties in the state decided to accept Daylight Saving Time. The state legislature put an end to the confusion when a 2005 bill passed ensuring that all Indiana counties would observe Daylight Saving Time, regardless of whether the county was in the Eastern or Central time zone.

Several American territories also do not observe Daylight Saving Time. This includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (actually located in the Atlantic Time Zone), Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Virgin Islands of the United States, American Samoa, and Guam.

March 13 is also the conclusion to the annual National Sleep Awareness Week. Sponsored by the National Sleep Foundation, this week highlights the importance of people getting enough sleep each night. And, this is particularly important when the last day of this week occurs on the day clocks are advanced an hour, with the possibility that people may lose an hour of sleep if they do not plan for getting an additional hour of sleep that night.

And, it is strongly suggested to use the twice-a-year time change to check, and possibly replace, batteries in vital warning instruments such as smoke / fire detectors / alarms, carbon monoxide (CO) detectors / alarms, and NOAA Weather / Hazard Alarm Radios (and / or other portable, transistor radios used to obtain weather broadcasts and other emergency news and information).

Although it may seem odd to have such an official time change occur at an hour when most people are asleep, there is a logical reason for the 2:00 time for the change to occur. With fewer people awake, and few important events occurring at 2:00 in the morning, this time change can happen fairly seamlessly, with no major activities being adversely affected. Although 12:00 Midnight may seem like a more logical time for such a change, more people are awake, and more activities are still happening, at Midnight, particularly on a Saturday night / Sunday morning.

Brief History of Daylight Saving Time

Instigated by the railroads to simplify passenger schedules and avoid governmental regulation, five American and Canadian time zones were established on Sunday, 1883 November 18 at 12:00 Noon Eastern Time. Technological advances of the era, such as the telegraph and the transit-telescope, allowed Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory to provide the railroads with precise time for the new time zones. The “Allegheny Time” system, developed by Allegheny Observatory Director Samuel Pierpont Langley in 1869, was the first regular and systematic system of time distribution to railroads and cities; within a year, Allegheny Time extended over 2,500 miles to 300 telegraph offices.

However, time zones are fairly large, meaning that sunrise and sunset occurs at significantly different times for a town on the eastern edge of a time zone and one on the western edge of the same time zone. In the early 20th century, some people wanted to provide more daylight in the evening hours during the Summer months and proposed to advance all clocks by one hour for “Daylight Saving Time.”

Actually, changing daily habits to take advantage of more daylight during the Summer months was first proposed by Pennsylvania's Benjamin Franklin in 1784, while he was a diplomat in Paris. In an anonymous letter that was published, he used satire to suggest that it would be better to use the sunlight of the morning rather than to waste candles in the evening. Although, it should be noted that he did not actually propose a plan similar to the Daylight Saving Time we know today.

Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist and a member of the Pittsburgh City Council for 28 years (1911 to 1939), is considered the “Father of Daylight Saving,” as he chaired the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's national “Special Committee on Daylight Saving.” He fought hard for the establishment of Summer Daylight Saving Time.

It was not until 1918, shortly after the United States entered World War I, that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson instituted the Daylight Saving plan to help the War effort. However farmers, who use sunrise and sunset cycles to care for their crops and farm animals, hated Daylight Saving Time.

Spurned by farmers and other agricultural interests, the U.S. Congress repealed the Daylight Saving Time plan seven months later. However, several cities including Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City continued using Daylight Saving Time during the Summer months.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt resurrected Daylight Saving Time as “War Time” for the duration of World War II. However, after the War, Daylight Saving Time did not become Federal law during peace time until the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was enacted. Hawaii never observed Daylight Saving Time while Arizona (except some tribal nations in the state) opted-out in 1968. Most of Indiana did not observe Daylight Saving Time until 2006; now the entire state observes it.

To reduce energy consumption during the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, year-round Daylight Saving Time was established in the United States beginning on 1974 January 6. However, many mothers were quite upset that this meant that their children had to travel to school, or wait for the school bus, during the dark early mornings in the Winter months. Thousands of these mothers (including the author's mother, Eleanor A. Walsh) wrote letters to their representatives in Congress complaining about this. After receiving thousands of letters from angry mothers, Congress did not renew year-round Daylight Saving Time, and this plan expired on 1975 February 23.

The start and end dates for Daylight Saving Time have varied, over the decades, as the U.S. Congress tried to find the correct balance for the time change. The most recent change came in 2007, when the start time for Daylight Saving Time was moved to the second Sunday in March. The end date was also moved, to the first Sunday in November. The November date was chosen to provide a little more daylight in the evening for trick-or-treating children on Halloween. Had Congress delayed the end of Daylight Saving Time one more week, to the second Sunday in November, this could have allowed a little more daylight in the evening, each year, for people traveling to the election polls on the General Election Day (scheduled for the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, each year); with the current system, only occasionally will General Election Day occur before the return to Standard Time.

The Future of Daylight Saving Time ?

Now, several states have proposed ending Daylight Saving Time altogether. And, there are even some states such as Alaska and some New England states which wish to join a different time zone, along with eliminating Daylight Saving Time.

Several New England states are considering seceding from the Eastern Time Zone to the Atlantic Time Zone, which is currently used by most of the Maritime Provinces of Canada as well as the American Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. By moving to the Atlantic Time Zone, these states would be observing the equivalent of Eastern Daylight Saving Time, year-round.

Connecticut, which is home to a lot of people who commute each weekday to New York City, would probably stay in the Eastern Time Zone along with New York State.

And, Alaska is considering moving to the Pacific Time Zone, abandoning its own Alaska Time Zone. As in New England, this would have the effect of having Alaska Daylight Saving Time year-round in Alaska. Of course the Alaska Time Zone would remain, as one of the world's 24 time zones, but it is unclear what it would be called if Alaska moved to the Pacific Time Zone.

This-past Wednesday (2022 March 9), the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, held a public hearing on the annual “Spring-Forward / Fall-Back” ritual. While most people testified against the annual twice-a-year time change, there was no consensus regarding what action should be taken. Some people wanted year-round Daylight Saving Time, while others prefer year-round Standard Time. After the hearing, Committee Chair Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) requested the U.S. Department of Transportation, which enforces the 1966 Federal Uniform Time Act, provide an analysis of the annual time changes (analysis originally requested by Congress in 2018, but never issued).

Many of the advocates of ending Daylight Saving Time cite several studies that show that advancing the clock adversely affects people's health, including more heart attacks, traffic accidents, and workplace injuries. Economists say that there is no real economic reason for Daylight Saving Time, save for the possible reduction in energy usage; although, they say this reduction is not definitive. If the energy savings caused by Daylight Saving Time was significant in past decades, they say that the advancement of technology and the change in lifestyle habits negates most such energy savings today. 

Abandonment of Daylight Saving Time, and particularly changing time zones, by several states will have an affect on national transportation and communication networks. Amtrak rail, Greyhound bus, and airline schedules will have to be changed and adapted in the states where such changes take place. National radio and television network schedules may have to be adapted, otherwise New England may receive programs an hour later than their normal Eastern Time Zone broadcast.

Federal law does allow states to exempt themselves from Daylight Saving Time, as Hawaii and Arizona already do. Changing time zones is another matter. Approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the Congress would be required if a state wished to change time zones.

Some economists doubt Daylight Saving Time will ever be completely eliminated, due to the influence of special interests (particularly the travel, transportation, and communication industries) as well as Americans favoring long, sunny Summer nights. However, there is no doubt the debate regarding Daylight Saving Time will continue.

Internet Links to Additional Information ---

Robert Garland and the establishment of Daylight Saving Time:

Link 1 >>> http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Pittsburgh-Magazine/March-2009/Curse-You-or-Bless-You-Robert-Garland/ 

Link 2 >>> https://archive.theincline.com/2018/03/05/the-story-of-robert-garland-father-of-daylight-saving-time-and-pittsburgh-city-council-member/ 

Link 3 >>> https://www.wpxi.com/archive/this-day-april-1-1918-first-daylight-saving-time-goes-into-effect/MN3I647B2VGTHB3WODHIBGNGYM/

Daylight Saving Time:

Link 1 >>> https://www.timeanddate.com/time/dst/ 

 Link 2 >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daylight_saving_time

Uniform Time: Link >>> https://www.transportation.gov/regulations/time-act

Uniform Time Act of 1966: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Time_Act

Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory:
Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/08/centennial-new-allegheny-observatory.html   

Smithsonian Institution Secretary & Allegheny Observatory Director Samuel Pierpont Langley:

Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/bio/LangleySP.htm 

Benjamin Franklin's Ideas Regarding "Daylight Saving":

Link >>> https://www.ushistory.org/franklin/science/daylight.htm

March 9 U.S. House Public Hearing on Daylight Saving Time:

Link >>> https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/03/09/congress-hearing-daylight-saving/

Related Blog-Posts ---

"Some States to Abandon Daylight Saving Time ?" Sun., 2016 March 13.

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/03/some-states-to-abandon-daylight-saving.html 


Daylight Saving Time Begins Sunday 2:00 a.m."  Sat., 2014 March 8.

Link  >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2014/03/daylight-saving-time-begins-sunday-200.html 

 

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss

                 Friday, 2022 March 11.

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           More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

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                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  http://www.planetarium.cc  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>  http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

* Other Walsh Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html

 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Astro-Calendar: 2022 March / Zodiacal Light From Martian Dust Storms?

                      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/eb/Cantin1.jpg

Image of the mysterious Zodiacal Light, shown in this photograph in the eastern sky just before local Dawn in August of 2000. At the end of March, the Zodiacal Light could be seen, with difficulty, after evening twilight in the western sky of Earth's Northern Hemisphere (weather-permitting). Data from NASA's Juno space probe suggests that the Zodiacal Light may originate from interplanetary particles that came from Martian dust storms.

More information: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2022.html#zodlight

(Image Sources: Wikipedia.org, By Dominic Cantin - &lt;http://www.pbase.com/dominiccantin&gt;; &lt;http://www.spacew.com/gallery/DominicCantin&gt;; &lt;http://astrosurf.com/aurores&gt;, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5068900)

Astronomical Calendar for 2022 March ---
Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium4.tripod.com/astrocalendar/2022.html#mar

 Related Blog Post ---

"Astro-Calendar:2022 Feb. / Lunar New Year Begins." Tue., 2022 Feb. 1.

Link >>> https://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2022/02/astro-calendar2022-feb-lunar-new-year.html

Source: Friends of the Zeiss.
            Tuesday, 2022 March 1.

                             Like This Post?  Please Share!

            More Astronomy & Science News - SpaceWatchtower Twitter Feed:
            Link >>> https://twitter.com/spacewatchtower

        Astronomy & Science Links: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/#sciencelinks

                Want to receive SpaceWatchtower blog posts in your in-box ?
                Send request to < spacewatchtower@planetarium.cc >.

gaw

Glenn A. Walsh, Informal Science Educator & Communicator:
Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/
Electronic Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >
Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: Link >>> http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science (a.k.a. Buhl Science Center), Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Formerly Trustee, Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Pittsburgh suburb of Carnegie, Pennsylvania.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh: Link >>>  http://www.planetarium.cc  Buhl Observatory: Link >>>  http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2016/11/75th-anniversary-americas-5th-public.html
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago: Link >>> http://adlerplanetarium.tripod.com
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear: Link >>> http://johnbrashear.tripod.com
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: Link >>> http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc

* Other Walsh Authored Blog & Web-Sites: Link >>> https://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/gawweb.html