People often wonder why the dates of Easter and Ash Wednesday and other feasts are different each year. These are “moveable feasts” that are fixed by the cycle of the Moon’s phases. Easter (or properly, Pascha) is essentially defined to be the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the first day of spring, which is different every … Continue reading
The days have grown noticeably longer through February. The Sun increases 9 degrees in declination over month, a total of 15 degrees since the winter solstice, and the noon Sun is higher in the sky by that amount. As a result, by month’s end, the length of daylight is two hours longer than on the shortest day, with sunrise … Continue reading
“Friday the 13th” is an old superstition that needs to pass. Instead of fearing “bad luck” on this day, and attributing every stubbed toe to some mystical influence, we should instead: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – … Continue reading
The planet Jupiter is the very bright “star” near the Full Moon tonight, February 3. After nightfall tonight, be sure to go outside and take a look! (FYI, the Moon passes Jupiter every other month of the year, but only when Jupiter is near opposition does the FULL MOON pass Jupiter. At this time, both the Moon and Jupiter … Continue reading
The days begin to get longer in January as the Sun increases in declination, rising higher in the noon sky and having a more northerly amplitude at sunrise and sunset.
The winter solstice is this Sunday. What does that mean, exactly? It means several things, actually.
The Second “Blood Moon” of the Tetrad The lunar eclipse of October 8 has been hailed as the “second Blood Moon” of the current tetrad of lunar eclipses. We discussed this in a previous article in which we analyzed the circumstances of this eclipse tetrad and expressed doubt as to this being a meaningful event with respect to eschatology and … Continue reading
“Blood Moon”? An eclipse of the Moon occurs when the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow. The best eclipses are when the Moon enters the Earth’s umbra, or full shadow. There is a stage of every partial and total eclipse when the Moon passes through the penumbra, or partial shadow of the Earth. This stage is hard to even notice, and … Continue reading