Home > Calendar, Ephemeris Program > 02/26/2015 – Ephemeris – The strange month of February

02/26/2015 – Ephemeris – The strange month of February

February 26, 2015

Ephemeris for Thursday, February 26th.  The sun will rise at 7:25.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 1 minute, setting at 6:26.   The moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 3:21 tomorrow morning.

Let’s take a shot at why February is the shortest month.  Blame the ancient Romans and their poor timekeeping skills.  The Roman calendar was based on the Sun, or rather the seasons, what we would call the tropical year, rather than the Moon.  With a lunar calendar it was easy to tell if it was off by a day or two.  The Romans apparently started with a 12 month calendar starting in March with spring.  Before the calendar reform of 45 BC months had alternating days of 29 and 31 except for February which had 28.  That left them a bit short, so it appears that they added a month Intercalaris every few years or so to fix it.  That eventually came down to adding a day to February every 4 years to fix the problem.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

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