Seasons in Australia, why don’t they follow the astronomical definition?


One of my favourites stories in my blog is “Seasons: Astronomy vs. Australia” that I published exactly 8 years ago, on the 1st September 2014. In this post I described how seasons are defined using Astronomy using equinoxes and solstices. And that I was very surprised to see that in Australia that is not what people think.

Indeed, you have probably heard me complaining for years about how Australia and New Zealand use the meteorological definition of season instead of using the astronomical definition, that is the one that is followed almost in the rest of the world.

Last week I raised the issue during a meeting at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Macquarie University (MQ). And with that Angie Kelly, Editor of MQ’s The Lighthouse, put me in contact with science journalist Fran Molloy to prepare this article: “Think spring has officially sprung? Not so fast“, published yesterday, Aug 31st,

One of my favourites stories in my blog is “Seasons: Astronomy vs. Australia” that I published exactly 8 years ago, on the 1st September 2014. In this post I described how seasons are defined using Astronomy using equinoxes and solstices. And that I was very surprised to see that in Australia that is not what people think.

Indeed, you have probably heard me complaining for years about how Australia and New Zealand use the meteorological definition of season instead of using the astronomical definition, that is the one that is followed almost in the rest of the world.

Last week I raised the issue during a meeting at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Macquarie University (MQ). And with that Angie Kelly, Editor of MQ’s The Lighthouse, put me in contact with science journalist Fran Molloy to prepare this article: “Think spring has officially sprung? Not so fast“, published yesterday, Aug 31st,

Update on 23 September: It was… interesting to get this interview out, as it triggered 5 or 6 radio interviews across Australia, the last one this very morning at radio ABC South Australia ­čÖé

Post originally published in Ángel R. López-Sánchez blog.


Angel.Lopez-Sanchez

About Angel.Lopez-Sanchez

Dr Ángel R. López-Sánchez is an astrophysicist and science communicator working at the Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Macquarie University (MQ) in Sydney (NSW, Australia). His research is focused in the analysis of star formation phenomena in galaxies of the Local Universe, especially in dwarf starbursts and spiral galaxies, using multi-wavelength (UV, optical, IR, radio) data. He presented his PhD Thesis at University of La Laguna and the Instituto Astrofisica de Canarias (Spain) in 2006. In 2007 he joined CSIRO Astronomy & Space Science (Sydney) with a postdoctoral position. He then joined the AAO (formerly the Australian Astronomical Observatory) and MQ in 2011. In July 2018 he was appointed as Senior Lecturer at AAO-MQ. He has been providing instrument and observing support at the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT, Siding Spring Observatory, NSW) since 2011, being the instrument scientist of several instruments: the multi-fiber spectrograph 2dF+AAOmega and the near-infrared imager and spectrograph IRIS2. He also has large experience with integral-field spectroscopy (IFS), being a very active member of the SAMI collaboration at the AAT and part of the HECTOR Science Team. He currently is the Instrument Scientist of KOALA+AAOmega at the AAT, and leads the international astronomy survey "HI KOALA IFS Dwarf and irregular galaxy Survey" (Hi-KIDS), that is getting unique, high-quality IFS data of a sample of 100 nearby dwarf and irregular galaxies for which 21cm H I interferometric data is available He has large experience teaching undergraduate and PhD students and giving lectures and classes about Astronomy. Dr. López-Sánchez is passionate science communicator who continuously gives talks and public lectures, writes popular science articles and organizes science communication events and stargazing activities. He is very active in social media, his Twitter feed is @El_Lobo_Rayado.