March 19, 2008

The first full moon of Spring...

Or is it the last full moon of Winter?

The Christian calendar makes what goes on overhead this week especially significant because it brings us Easter on March 23 ... the earliest since 1913, and earlier than all the Easters to come until 2160, 152 years from now.

This is so (according to those whizzes at Wikipedia, and elsewhere on the internet), because Easter's date is based on the lunar calendar: The first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the Spring Equinox is always Easter. This year, the full moon officially comes one day after Thursday's Spring Equinox.

Needless to say, the picture above is not of this week's full moon; it was taken last month, on Feb. 21, as I waited for the lunar eclipse to begin over Mount Pleasant's Hansche Pond.

(Easter actually could be one day earlier, on March 22, but that won't occur until 2285; the last Easter on that date was in 1818. The latest date Easter can come is April 25; the most recent of those was in 1943 and the next will be in 2038 Somewhere, I read about Leap Year being involved in this scheduling as well... the mind boggles that people have so much time on their hands to figure all this stuff out.)

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