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The groundhog & the orbit of the earth

February 21, 2022

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

Joe Rao, in addition to his duties as’s skywatching columnist, and instructor and instructor and guest lecturer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, writes a monthly column for Natural History Magazine called Skylog, in which he discusses what’s up skywise for the coming month. I’ve cribbed from it a lot on this blog over the past decade.

His February 2022 column is quite interesting. I managed to track down almost the same article on his page, so there is a link below, but I’ll tempt you with a line he quotes from an old English nursery rhyme (some say a folk song, or just “a song”):

If Candlemas be fair and bright, Come, Winter, have another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Go, Winter, and not come again.

Ring any bells? Read the article.

When is the midpoint of winter?| Joe Rao | 8 Feb 2022 | 5 minute read

Curious about Candlemas? Here’s the lowdown on this feast, not so well-known since the advent of the electric light, from Those Who Know: Catholic Straight

Phil checks out his fingernails in the light from that large glowing object in the sky

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