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Author Topic: The Tropics...?  (Read 1831 times)

Offline siasl

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The Tropics...?
« on: 18 February, 2014, 11:20:50 AM »
Who though of Cancer and Capricorn as names for them, why were they so-named, and is there a geographic reason for putting them where they are?

imfeduptoo

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Re: The Tropics...?
« Reply #1 on: 18 February, 2014, 11:47:28 AM »
The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the Northern tropic, is the circle of latitude on the Earth that marks the most northerly position at which the Sun may appear directly overhead at its zenith and The Tropic of Capricorn is the most southerly position.

The imaginary line is called the Tropic of Cancer because when the Sun reaches the zenith at this latitude, it is entering the tropical sign of Cancer (summer solstice in the northern hemisphere). When it was named, the Sun was also in the direction of the constellation Cancer (Latin for crab). However, this is no longer true due to the precession of the equinoxes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropic_of_Cancer

I haven't found anything actually saying so but suppose that the Tropic of Capricorn was named for the same reason - that at the zenith the sun was entering the sign of Capricorn. This also doesn't hold true now.


I have no idea who named them but they were named about 2000 years ago.


Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: The Tropics...?
« Reply #2 on: 19 February, 2014, 01:38:22 PM »
Mrs Too is right...cast your mind back 2,00 years to when these 'Tropics of' were first named...

I dug up this...

"The answer is that The Tropic of Cancer was named because at the time of its naming, the sun was positioned in the Cancer constellation during the June solstice.

Likewise, the Tropic of Capricorn was named because the sun was in the constellation Capricorn during the December solstice.

The naming took place about 2000 years ago and the sun is no longer in those constellation.

At the June solstice, the sun is in Taurus and at the December solstice, the sun is in Sagittarius."


This from about.com (sort of like Wiki but chummier) which you'll find at

http://geography.about.com/b/2008/08/21/naming-the-tropic-of-cancer-and-the-tropic-of-capricorn.htm

So blame the ancient Greek mariners?
"I live in hope"

Wompon

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Re: The Tropics...?
« Reply #3 on: 28 February, 2014, 09:32:39 AM »
The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the Northern tropic, is the circle of latitude on the Earth that marks the most northerly position at which the Sun may appear directly overhead at its zenith and The Tropic of Capricorn is the most southerly position.

The imaginary line is called the Tropic of Cancer because when the Sun reaches the zenith at this latitude, it is entering the tropical sign of Cancer (summer solstice in the northern hemisphere). When it was named, the Sun was also in the direction of the constellation Cancer (Latin for crab). However, this is no longer true due to the precession of the equinoxes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropic_of_Cancer

I haven't found anything actually saying so but suppose that the Tropic of Capricorn was named for the same reason - that at the zenith the sun was entering the sign of Capricorn. This also doesn't hold true now.


I have no idea who named them but they were named about 2000 years ago.

Or, to put it another way, the Earth's axis is tilted by 23.4 degrees.
The tropics are at 23.4 degrees above and below the equator.