Sunday December 29. The Palma cathedral.

Written by Jack van Ommen on December 29th, 2013

I had wondered how it is possible that the spectacle of the light from the rosette on the East side of the cathedral is always projected on the opposite end of the church on February 2nd and November 11th of each year and at the same time, around 8.30 a.m. I could not find any answers on the internet, but I think I figured it out. Since our calendar and time is based on the rotation of the earth, the sun should project fairly close to the calendar and time. Both dates are exactly 42 days from the December 22 winter solstice. And then I wonder if the story that the architects for this 13th century construction really had this figured out for those dates. As long as the window is reasonably square to the sun at a particular time of the day would it not follow then that it would project twice a year in the same spot?  And there must be a lot more buildings with the same effect. I show a picture that I just happened to take last year in France where the reflection is also lined up perfectly vertically. Just luck? But now I am asking my self if the location of the sun is smack on the same time of the calendar then why do we need almanacs and reduction tables for every year for our celestial navigation? I may have conveniently wiped this off my memory with GPS. Any body out there with the answer?

Today is the feast of the Holy Family. After three shipwrecked marriages I am an expert on the subject.  I envy and admire the couples who followed the example of Mary and Joseph. The boys choir must have the week off and there was a very good group of university students. The liturgy was sung in Latin the mass was said in Mallorquin and the sermon and announcements in Castilian.  I got to sing part of a Christmas song after all. We sung the refrain with the choir of Venite Adoremus Dominum.

 

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