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  1. #1
    Senior Member Boxhilljunkie's Avatar
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    Things you've always wanted to know...but we're afraid to ask..lol

    So this morning chatting with my kid about what to do today...my idea was
    get the bikes out and follow the sun and joked we would make a big giant circle.
    to which he replied "nah dad it would only make a straight line as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west"
    so I said don't be silly it would make a semi circle....he isn't having it...so.....

    lets say say we are on the Utah salt flats and on our bikes we followed the sun from sun rise to sunset.

    would our line be straight or curved??

  2. #2
    Senior Member portia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxhilljunkie View Post
    So this morning chatting with my kid about what to do today...my idea was
    get the bikes out and follow the sun and joked we would make a big giant circle.
    to which he replied "nah dad it would only make a straight line as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west"
    so I said don't be silly it would make a semi circle....he isn't having it...so.....

    lets say say we are on the Utah salt flats and on our bikes we followed the sun from sun rise to sunset.

    would our line be straight or curved??
    There are two issues here.

    In a way I think you both were right depending how you look at it. Theoretically speaking, if the terrain let you go in one direction (using some digital compass), it would feel like a straight line. However, if you then plotted your route on a map, it would be a curve. Obviously, the longer the distance covered, the more obvious it'd be.

    The second issue, which actually should be the first issue, how exactly are you going to "follow" the sun? Even if you get your aero wheels and a Rapha saddle, you'll probably still be a few hundred miles per hour short of actually following the sun. And bearing in mind that the earth orbits the sun and revolves at the same time, it'd be difficult. Additionally, the perceived 'trajectory' of the sun would be much different depending on your location on the earth making it even more difficult to 'follow'.

    I'm no expert but that's what I think. An interesting question though and I guess the truth is even more complex as I suspect it'll involve the theory of relativity.

    Great stuff that you have such discussions with your lad.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gasper's Avatar
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    It depends on your latitude, so at the equator the sun is overhead at mid day and plunges vertically towards the horizon, which it drops below at exactly 6.00 pm.

    In northern latitudes like ours, even in Summer time, the sun takes a much more leisurely course, eventually drops diagonally below the horizon at around nine PM, or whenever it feels like it.

    So, the answer is, it's a curve, except in equatorial Africa etc..

  4. #4
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    Go to a Lido on yer bikes then eat a cherry magnum in the shade..

  5. #5
    Senior Member Boxhilljunkie's Avatar
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    They do cherry magnums?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Boxhilljunkie's Avatar
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    Cheers Gasper....it's more complex than I thought

  7. #7
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    What if it's cloudy?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxhilljunkie View Post
    They do cherry magnums?
    Do they going to the shop now. Get you all one.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Boxhilljunkie's Avatar
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    Don't like cherry..or magnums

    I'm a fab man

  10. #10
    Senior Member coolboarder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasper View Post

    So, the answer is, it's a curve, except in equatorial Africa etc..
    The answer is neither. Wherever you are, if you followed the sun to pinpoint accuracy you would stay on the same spot and just slowly turn round in ever decreasing circles, depending on latitude, from when it rose until it set, until if you were on the equator you would just flip over 180 degrees and end up standing on your head.
    Last edited by coolboarder; 3rd August 2018 at 1:52 PM.
    It doesn't matter how many times you fall down, its how times many you get back up that count.

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