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Term for the path of the subsolar point 
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#1
Feb2714, 12:34 PM

P: 611

Imagine a straight line that contains both the center of the sun and the center of the earth. This line passes through a point on the surface of the earth that is between those two points. As the earth rotates, this point moves west, forming a kind of line on the surface of the earth.
What is this line called? I was south of it once while visiting Aruba and thought it was so neat to see the sun apparently move from right to left across the sky instead of the other way. Thanks! 


#2
Feb2714, 04:08 PM

Sci Advisor
P: 6,109

The line is (approximately) a line of latitiude. The approximation is due to the earth's revolution around the sun. It varies over the year between the Tropic of Cancer (~ 23 deg. north, June 21) and the Tropic of Capricorn (~ 23 deg. south, Dec. 21).



#3
Feb2714, 05:29 PM

P: 1,857

If I'm not mistaken the " thermal equator" may be what your looking for, could be wrong though
edit just noticed this recent post I was off lol. 


#4
Feb2714, 06:06 PM

P: 127

Term for the path of the subsolar point
That point on the surface of the Earth is called the "subsolar point". I don't think the line it traces out has a name.
You can see the Sun move right to left by just bending over backward and watching it that way (from the northern hemisphere). Not very convenient, however. 


#5
Feb2714, 06:21 PM

P: 611

Ah, here it is — I started with Mordred's "thermal equator" and went from there. Thanks all!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_equator 


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