Can you trust your watch to tell you when it’s noon?

On Sunday the sun will neither be running fast nor slow, since it will have arrived at a point that we come to several times a year where the equation of time is absolutely even. We have this fictitious notion of time called ‘mean solar time’, which works well for watches and clocks, but the truth is the sun actually runs ahead and behind of this mean time. What makes this Sunday, April 15th, so special is that noon will actually fall where it should, meaning when your watch says noon it matches with the suns motion across the sky. Also, does the solar system need a clean up? There is a lot of naturally occurring space junk, also known as asteroids, that run in that belt between Mars and Jupiter, but there is also a lot of stuff orbiting around the sun and sometimes these objects fall into orbits around the Earth as well. What if we have a close encounter with one? There aren’t many large ones we have to worry about. Also, don’t miss brilliant Venus in the night sky this week. All this and more on this week’s Sky Talk.**This is the season of star parties, so make sure you check out your local astronomy club at the links below. Also the Philadelphia Science Festival running from April 20th through the 29th is not to be missed.[audio: st20120409.mp3]

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