Saturday, February 21, 2009

Casualties of Sun - Evidence the Sun is Round

This is the cat benign equivalent of sun stroke. They wander into the edge of a sun beam, their brains are shut down, and they collapse. Over several minutes you can observe their bodies reducing height and increasing breadth, maximizing the square inches exposed to the barrage of photons, and deepening the soporific effect. Only when the sun moves to another position, and sufficient cat surface is in shadow, do they revive, but they're usually dragged back into the sun and the process is repeated.

Notice in this aerial view the circles of light around the square window spots. (Click images for closer view.) This is evidence that the sun is round, and appears in our sky as a disk, not a point. If it were a triangle, this refraction distortion would be a triangle. It's caused by the fact that not all photos are coming past the edge of the window from a single angle - some come from every side of the sun circle and therefore get around the sharp edge of the square, casting this circular spot. If you've noticed the light spots on grass or sidewalk through tree leaves, they also form circles for the same reason, regardless of the odd shapes of the space they shone through between the leaves.

Working today - just took a break to note these interesting scientific phenomena

9 comments:

Odd Chick said...

pay attention - that's what you teach me

Genie Sea said...

How delightfully peaceful and Zen. :)

June Saville said...

Science and art Steve. I like a person who can think 'in the round'.
June in Oz

Lisa said...

I've never noticed the circle. Wow. And your description of how the cats move into the sun and then follow it is so perfect. Observing the consistencies and the changes in our cats' behavior is a family past time at our house.

Steve Emery said...

Odd Chick - I wish I did it a whole lot more... Your blog helps me focus more.

Genie - Sleepy cats are very relaxing. Hard to stay awake in the same room.

June in Oz - Thanks! We talk a lot of science in this house (we talk a lot of everything - homeschooling three, ages 21, 17, and 10). It all gets mixed up in the conversational stew pot.

Lisa - I never get tired of looking at our cats. Their motions, AND their poses are amazing to me. I don't know how a creature can look so pleasing in so many ways.

Thalia Took said...

Yes, cats emit sleep fields; that's a known fact.

During a solar eclipse the sun casts crescent-shapes. I have seen this with my own eyes.

tammy vitale said...

I want that room. I'll take the cats too but they'll have to fight my dogs for sun patches...

tammy vitale said...

I want that room. I'll take the cats too but they'll have to fight my dogs for sun patches...

The Gypsy said...

How nice it would be to just be the cat in the sun :-)