April 3, 2020

Event of the Week: A “Blue Moon” Eclipse!

This New Year’s Eve rounds off the calendar with an especially rare treat, although its one that not everyone will get to witness; a partial eclipse of the full “blue” moon. The second full moon of December, the first occurred on December 2nd of this month. This eclipse, however, is extremely shallow; at maximum, the moon will only be 7.63% immersed in the dark umbra of the earth’s shadow.

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AstroEvent of the Week: 04.06.09: An Easter Full Moon.

This months’ Full Moon on Thursday is a special one. Known variously as the “Pink” or “Egg” Moon, April’s Full Moon also shares the distinction this year of being an Easter or Paschal Moon, as well. Current tradition sets Easter in the Christian calendar as the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal (or Spring Equinox). All this means is that the date of Easter is highly variable, falling as early as March 22nd, a day after the date set by the church as ecclesiastical equinox, March 21st. In fact, the equinox can vary by a day or two!

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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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