Solstice Event Canceled

Alan Gould

The Solstice celebration set for Friday afternoon December 21 at the Cesar Chavez Memorial Solar Calendar has been canceled.   Calendar founder and curator Santiago Casal made the announcement in an email broadcast Thursday afternoon.  

Master of Ceremonies Alan Gould, explained Casal, has had a medical emergency.  Not lethal, but temporarily disabling, and there is no available substitute.

The Winter Solstice on Friday, December 21, will feature a rare conjunction of astronomical events:  the rise of a full moon at the same time as the setting of the sun — double happiness.

The fabulous Alan Gould of the Lawrence Hall of Science will lead a gathering of sky lovers and Solstice celebrants at the Cesar Chavez Memorial Solar Calendar in the park, beginning at 4 pm.  All invited.

The sun will set over the peninsula and the full moon will peek over the Berkeley hills between 4:40 and 4:50, weather permitting.  (The forecast is positive!)  When this happens, you can almost feel the earth rotate.  Feel free to sit down if you get vertigo.  Watching these big orbs do their thing, one behind you, one in front, is like riding in spaceship earth with the top down.  If you needed a reminder that we only have this one planet, this works.

Feel free to bring brownies or other Solstice bites if so inclined.

This traditional Solstice celebration is now in its 21st year under the auspices of Cesar Chavez Memorial Solar Calendar founder and curator Santiago CasalDirections here.

Additional info and instructions for the Solar Calendar here.

P.S. — Double Happiness squared!  Friday December 21 will also see a giant high tide (+7.07) at 9:51 a.m.  and then an amazing low tide (-1.20) at 4:58 p.m.  The high tide will swamp the pathway along Marina Boulevard, unless the City has meanwhile fixed the seawall gap (don’t bet on it), and the evening tide should just about empty out a third of the North Basin and expose acres of mud, drawing scores of shore birds.  What a Day!  Be there!

There’ll be two higher tides during daylight the following day.  Saturday the 22nd, the high tide will reach 7.23 feet at 10:23, and that will happen again on Sunday at 11:18.   Monday will see a 7.06 high tide at noon.  There’ll also be two lower tides after Solstice, but the sun will have set and the light will be doubtful.  Saturday will see an amazing minus 1.56 at 5:43 pm and Sunday an even lower, record-setting minus 1.71 at 6:28 pm, in darkness.  See the NOAA table here.

Sunset, Winter Solstice 2016

Moonrise over Berkeley Hills

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