Following on from yesterday’s podcast for 365 Days of Astronomy I’d like to offer up a little visual aid to accompany it. If you haven’t yet heard the talk, it’s quite short and you can listen to it here.
The interactive infographic below attempts to show how the equation of time varies over the course of the solar year. Once loaded just drag the Earth icon along the year bar at the bottom and you’ll see where the earth is along it’s orbit vs the equation of time for that moment.
If you are unfamiliar with astronomical terminology then let me quickly explain the markings along the orbit. The equinoxes mark the points in the orbit where the day and night are of equal length. Diametrically opposite these are the the solstices. Perihelion and Aphelion mark the earth’s closest approach to the sun and it’s furthest away.