Thursday, February 07, 2008

And then it Dawned on me....

Since my son is now 2018 miles (yes, I checked) from me, I miss him terribly. We text in the evenings, usually funny stuff. This tends to be the favorite part of my day. I do other stuff too. Google Earth is pretty cool, if you want to see the base itself. Although, it gives me pause to think that anyone with internet access and a computer can see a picture of a military base. I also look at Weather.com to see what his weather is like.

And then it dawned on me, so to speak, when I looked at the sunrise data. I could figure out how fast Earth rotated on his axis.

The sun rose, here, at 7:33 am. It rose at 6:37 in California. California is three hours behind us. So at 4:33 am their time, the sun was rising here. it took 2 hours and 4 minutes later the sun rose there. So, if it's 2018 miles away and it took basically 2 hours for Earth to move on its axis enough for the sun to shine there,and speed is equal to distance/time, then the Earth must be moving at 2018miles/2 hours, or roughly 1000 miles and hour. Right?

So, lets check our math. My wonderful compadre, Supergurl, lives in Texas, one hour behind me. The sun rose there at 7:24. It's about a thousand miles away from me, so it should be an hour later... So at 6:33 their time the sun rose here, and 51 minutes later the sun rose there. Yeah, it works. But am I right?

According this website, Earth rotates at the equator at about 1038 miles per hour. I'm a bit North of that. If you multiply that by the cosine of my Latitude (about 33) you get... who the hell am I kidding, I'm not multiplying anything by cosine. I passed that class. 1038 looks pretty close to me.

So I can just imagine the light traveling across our country on its two hour journey. Past the Piedmont in North Georgia, over Alabama, shimmering across lakes and rivers. Up and down, across the high spots and low spots, across the muddy Mississippi, across Louisiana, maybe darkening a bit at New Orleans, waking Houstonians and Austinians alike, waking the Architect and the Scientist (Hi, Gurl) on into the west. Can't you see it dipping into the Grand Canyon and back up the other side, over Vegas (being outshined, perchance, by the lights there) until finally it finds my son on his way to work?

I feel a bit like Eratosthenes. Ok, maybe not.

4 comments:

Erica said...

girl, I freakin' LOVED this post so much, my nipples damn near grew hard reading it.

Math ain't my thing...i'm a total doofus with it...but that last part...about the sun "...shimmering across lakes and rivers. Up and down, across the high spots and low spots, across the muddy Mississippi, across Louisiana, maybe darkening a bit at New Orleans, waking Houstonians and Austinians alike..."

That was so f**king BEAUTIFUL!

Joan of Argghh! said...

Oh, this was lovely, lovely!

Nothing like love for inspiration, eh?

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

i'll agree with Erica, well except for the nipples part...that last paragraph was solid! As if i'm some kind of critic...HAH!

But it was good.

supergurl said...

dude. you know, brainy chicks linking my blog makes me orgasmic. thanks for the link, and this post was off the hook. you are my lovejones. be good.