May 24, 2020

Astro-Event:The Vernal Equinox.

Batten down the hatches; spring is here in a most astronomical way. The vernal equinox occurs this Saturday, March 20th at 17:32 Universal Time; expect uniform amounts of sunshine and darkness worldwide as well as a Sun rising directly due east and setting due west. The spring equinox is also used in the reckoning of Easter; this yearís Paschal or Easter Full Moon falls on March 29th and the proceeding Sunday and Easter falls on April 4th. This year, Eastern Orthodox Easter also falls on the same date; The Orthodox church uses the older Julian calendar and hence the two donít always coincide. In fact, this yearís date is the earliest that an Eastern Orthodox Easter can fall.

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AstroEvent of the Week, February 8th-15th, 2009; A Penumbral Eclipse.

This weeks’ astro-event of the week isn’t exactly a real barn-burner, but is always interesting to note, none the less; a penumbral eclipse of the Moon. This occurs around 14:38 Universal Time on Monday, the 9th of February as seen from the Pacific Rim hemisphere of the planet.

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Astro Event of the Week: December 29th, 2008-January 4th, 2009: The Leap Second Strikes!

Revelers this New Years’ Eve can party a bit longer, thanks to the timely (bad pun) addition of a leap second on Dec 31st. The addition of a leap second is due to anomalies in the rotation of the Earth, such as the gravitational drag of the Sun and Moon, the motion of the oceans and tectonic plates, and other complex wackiness.

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