The Sun is back in the spotlight after the weekend’s solar eclipse. The spectacular event, combined with the summer solstice, saw the United Kingdom see its longest day of the year, and now Express.co.uk readers say they have seen strange things in the sky. In fact, a confused reader told us that they were surprised to see the sun rise in the north this morning.
We were told they had risen just before 5 am this morning, and recorded the sunrise at approximately 23 degrees NE.
But why exactly does this happen? Isn’t the sun supposed to rise in the east?
Actually, there is a very simple explanation, and it all has to do with two factors: the time of year and its latitude.
So since the longest day of the year has just passed over the weekend, this somehow explains why our reader saw the sunrise in the north this morning.
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The movement of the Sun along its horizon, at sunrise or sunset, is more noticeable around the equinoxes.
The daily change in position of the star along the horizon is also more pronounced the further north or south it is from Earth’s equator.
For example, at a latitude of 40 degrees north latitude, such as Sardinia or Beijing, the sun generally rises east and sets west on the equinox day of March 20.
Two weeks later, on April 4, the Sun rises approximately seven degrees north of the east and sets approximately seven degrees north of the west.
The news that the Sun changes across the horizon coincides with reports that our star may be “waking up,” NASA announced.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) of the US space agency. USA It recently discovered the largest flare of the Sun since October 2017.
A solar flare is a flash of radiation from sunspots, cooler patches on the sun’s surface.
NASA has also observed more of these sunspots and believes the giant star may be about to enter a new cycle.
The Sun actually has an 11-year cycle, and increased activity suggests it may be moving towards a more active stage.
However, the recently detected strong solar flare did not pose a threat to Earth and was not heading in our direction.
NASA said the flare was also not strong enough to alert scientists at the Space Weather Prediction Center.
There has been little solar activity recently, so astronomers have been watching the Sun to see what happens next.
NASA will not know if the new sunspots indicate increased activity for many more months.
The space agency said: “It takes at least six months of solar observations and sunspot count after a minimum to know when it happened.
“Because that minimum is defined by the lowest number of sunspots in a cycle, scientists need to see the numbers increase steadily before they can determine exactly when they were at the bottom.”