It almost escaped my attention, but today’s daylight hours and nighttime hours are equal, twelve and twelve. I was getting suspicious you see, but today’s picture of the sun from the Astronomy Picture of the Day site confirmed it. This means we still have the opportunity to perfect our tans with the favor soon going to the southern hemisphere’s inhabitants. I remember in 1964 getting the fastest tan of my life while lying on the flight deck of the USS Enterprise as we were on the home stretch of a historic world cruise. Three nuclear-powered surface ships went all the way around the world without taking on any supplies. The food was getting a little strange-looking and once the ship’s medical officer got on the 1MC (the public address system) and said that tinges of green in the butter were harmless. One day everything served for breakfast was orange-colored!
Anyway, back to the tan. It occurred off the coast of Brazil. We left a port call at Rio de Janeiro and were inspired by the Girl From Ipanema and just had to get as tan as possible. Some of the crew just got burned instead, but that happens to guys from the New York and New Jersey area—it’s just not in their genes to tan. We west coasters gloated about our ability to color up in mere minutes. I got at least a shade tanner in only a half hour, then tanned the other side for another half hour. The following day they went back to putting airplanes all over the flight deck. The party was over but it was fun while it lasted.
Photo credit: NASA / Goddard / SDO AIA Team