Ring in the new year with a sparkling meteor shower, a pair of eclipses, and a planet parade.
THE NEW YEAR starts off with a bang thanks to 2019’s best celestial fireworks show, followed by eye-catching planetary encounters and an eerie wolf moon eclipse.
So, if your holiday haul included new binoculars or telescopes, mark your January calendar and get ready to try out your stargazing gear!
Earth at perihelion—January 3
If you ever thought Earth’s orbital distance from the sun controlled the temperature, this day should convince you otherwise. Earth’s path around the sun is not a perfect circle, and the planet gets nearer and farther from the star over the course of a year.
At 12:20 a.m. ET on the 3rd, our planet will reach its closest point to the sun for all of 2019. At this so-called perihelion, the two bodies will be just over 91 million miles apart—three percent closer than they will be at their farthest point, or aphelion, in July.
The Northern Hemisphere’s cold temperatures at this time of year actually arise because the planet is tilted on its axis, and this side of the globe is tilted away from our parent star.
New Year meteor shower—January 3-4
In the predawn hours of January 4, the first meteor shower of the year, the Quadrantids, will reach its peak. Rates this morning will range from 60 to 120 shooting stars an hour when seen from a dark location. This year, a waning crescent moon should provide ideal conditions for seeing even faint meteors under clear skies.
The meteors will appear to radiate from the northeast sky, just off the handle of the Big Dipper. This is the site of Quadrans Muralis, a constellation that’s no longer recognized by astronomers but which gave the Quadrantids their name.
Partial solar eclipse—January 5-6
For some lucky sky-watchers, the year’s first new moon will seem to take a bite out of the sun. The partial solar eclipse will begin at sunrise in Asia, starting in China at 7:34 a.m. local time (23:34 UT on January 5) and moving across Japan, Korea, and Russia. Four-and-a-half hours later, it will cross Alaska’s Aleutian Islands at local sunset (3:48 UT on January 6). People in the Americas, Africa, and Europe will unfortunately miss the sky show.
“The early Native Americans did not record time by using the months of the Julian or Gregorian calendar. Many tribes kept track of time by observing the seasons and lunar months, although there was much variability. For some tribes, the year contained 4 seasons and started at a certain season, such as spring or fall. Others counted 5 seasons to a year. Some tribes defined a year as 12 Moons, while others assigned it 13. Certain tribes that used the lunar calendar added an extra Moon every few years, to keep it in sync with the seasons.”
JANUARY FULL MOONS
January 2018 is a very special month:
“The month’s first full Moon, the Full Wolf Moon, rises on January 1. What a great way to start the year!
A second full Moon (a Blue Moon) rises on the 31st, and brings the year’s only eclipse for North America just before dawn. Its total phase can be seen from west of the Mississippi and in western Canada.
Both of January’s full Moons are Supermoons!”
“Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year. Here is the Farmers Almanac’s list of the full Moon names.”
“The Full Wolf Moon – January Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.”
“Each tribe that did name the full Moons (and/or lunar months) had its own naming preferences. Some would use 12 names for the year while others might use 5, 6, or 7; also, certain names might change the next year. A full Moon name used by one tribe might differ from one used by another tribe for the same time period, or be the same name but represent a different time period. The name itself was often a description relating to a particular activity/event that usually occurred during that time in their location.”
“Colonial Americans adopted some of the Native American full Moon names and applied them to their own calendar system (primarily Julian, and later, Gregorian). Since the Gregorian calendar is the system that many in North America use today, that is how we have presented the list of Moon names, as a frame of reference. The Native American names have been listed by the month in the Gregorian calendar to which they are most closely associated.” https://www.almanac.com
Please Comment by April 17 on the Planning Expansion of the Gold Bar Mine.
Nevada wild horse herds threatened!
Dear Friends of our Wild Horses;
Comments for an Environmental Impact Statement are due April 17th, 2017 regarding the massive expansion of the Gold Bar Mine north of Eureka, Nevada.
If this expansion moves forward it will threaten three wild horse herds areas: Roberts Mountain, Fish Creek, and Whistler Herd Management Areas (HMAs).
Please take a few minutes and comment on this destructive mining project using your own words.
Here are a few key points we suggest you make to the Bureau of Land Management:
1. Open pit gold mining is the most destructive use of the land with little ability to mitigate the damage.
2. The project would expand to 44,000 acres or 62.5 square miles.
3. The project would consume approximately 2 billion gallons of water over a ten-year period, depleting both surface and ground water.
4. Nevada is the driest state in the Union.
5. Lack of water is regularly the reason BLM/Nevada gives for conducting emergency removals of wild horses from the range. 14 herds were zeroed out in 2009 based on the prediction of little available water!
6. Wild horses and other wildlife will suffer from the environmental destruction and lack of water. Sage Grouse occupy the area and are a species of critical environment concern.
7. The mining expansion is based on out-of-date mining plans from 1992.
8. Gold mining is highly speculative. The previous mine owners, Atlas Corporation, filed for bankruptcy and abandoned the land in an unreclaimed condition in 1999.
From The Old Farmer’s Almanac FULL SNOW MOON
February’s full Moon is traditionally called the Full Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February. This name dates back to the Native Americans during Colonial times when the Moons were a way of tracking the seasons. And the Native Americans were right. On average, February is the USA’s snowiest month, according to data from the National Weather Service.
Hunting becomes very difficult, and so some Native American tribes called this the Hunger Moon. Other Native American tribes called this Moon the “Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon” (Wishram Native Americans), the “No Snow in the Trails Moon” (Zuni Native Americans), and the “Bone Moon” (Cherokee Native Americans). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.
Here’s The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s Full Moon Video for February narrated by Amy Nieskens
Friday night, February 10, 2017 brings the Full Snow Moon—as well as a penumbra lunar eclipse and the close approach of a comet. Get more details.
This Week: A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – What Is It?
We have an eclipse of the full Moon scheduled for Friday night, February 10th, but it’s not likely that the astronomical community at large is going to get very excited about it. Why? Because this eclipse is actually a “penumbral” lunar eclipse.
The Earth casts not one, but two types of shadows out into space: an umbra, the shadow directly around it, and a penumbra (see graphic, below). When the Moon passes into the umbra, we can readily see a dark and very distinct outline of the Earth’s circular shadow cast upon Moon’s disk. The penumbra, on the other hand, casts a much fainter and far less distinct shadow, which is far more difficult to perceive and as such might not immediately catch your eye read more…
[Excellant] Article by Adam Serwer, BuzzFeed.com
NOTE FROM THIS PUBLISHER:This wonderfully engaging story is definitely worth a read – to the end. If I actually knew anything about screen-writing, I’d say that Martin Scorsese et al needs to hire this writer immeadiately. William Carbone
A light rain fell on New Orleans on October 15, 1890, as Police Chief David Hennessy left the central police station with his colleague and friend Capt. William O’Connor just after 11 p.m. The young chief turned toward Basin Street, heading for the home he shared with his widowed mother. O’Connor went in the opposite direction, up Girod Street. Hennessy rarely walked home alone; for the past three years, he had done so in the company of bodyguards. That night he was alone.
Not far from his mother’s doorstep, Hennessy staggered as gunfire ripped into his side. One of the bullets pierced his liver and settled in his chest, another shattered his right leg. The skin around his wounds cratered with bird shot. Hennessy drew his revolver as he turned to face his assailants and fired three or four times, but they had slipped into the night.
O’Connor, who heard the gunshots from blocks away, turned and ran through the fresh mud and found his friend bleeding to death on the ground. The way O’Connor remembered it, Hennessy called out, “Billy, Billy.” As O’Connor approached, Hennessy said, “They have given it to me, and I have given it back the best I could.”
“Who gave it to you, Dave?” O’Connor asked.
O’Connor said that Hennessy beckoned for O’Connor to bring his head closer, as Hennessy whispered one word into his ear.
“Dagoes,”[sic] he said.
Hennessy didn’t die immediately. He didn’t think he was going to die at all. When his mother joined his bedside at Charity Hospital the next morning at 8 a.m., he told her, “I’ll be home by and by.” His colleagues sent for his priest. By 9, the chief was dead, and by 9:15, mourners were gathering outside the hospital. Police officers, according to press accounts, wept openly as they vowed revenge. Hennessy’s body was removed to his mother’s home, where a stream of mourners clustered.
Hennessy’s funeral was the biggest the city had seen since former Confederate President Jefferson Davis had been laid to rest. Mourners arrived as early as 6 a.m., a line of them had gathered around the block by 10. His casket lay open behind a glass display; his hat, belt, and club lay upon it. Newspapers described an “uninterrupted procession throughout the day,” lasting into the night. A band led the funeral procession to the cemetery, more than a mile long. The city’s fire stations rang their bells in requiem. Steamboats in the harbor flew their flags at half mast.
Although Hennessy had been unable to identify his assailants and O’Connor had arrived after they escaped, the word Hennessy had whispered to O’Connor told Mayor Joseph Shakspeare all he needed to know. At a city council meeting shortly after, Shakspeare declared, “We must teach these people a lesson that they will not forget by all time.”
“No community can exist with murderous societies in its midst,” Shakspeare said. “A Sicilian who comes here must become an American citizen and subject his wrongs to the remedy of the law or else there must be no place for him on the American continent.” The room erupted in applause.
Within hours of Hennessy’s death, the New Orleans police would raid the Italian colony in the city, arresting hundreds, according to the New York Times, and detaining them at the central police station. According to Richard Gambino, a historian and author of Vendetta: The True Story of the Largest Lynching in US History, a crowd thronged outside the police station “screaming obscenities” and chanting “who killa da chief” at the prisoners as they were loaded into mule-drawn prison wagons to be taken to Orleans Parish Prison. When a largely female group of relatives of the Italian immigrants being detained arrived to call for the immigrants’ release, they were “pushed around, struck, and driven away by the crowd.” One of the suspects, Antonio Scaffidi, was shot in the face by Thomas Duffy, a friend of Hennessy’s who had come to the prison as a witness to identify suspects. Newspapers sympathetically called it an attempt to “avenge” Hennessy.
The press cheered the arrests, repeating Shakspeare’s contention that there was no doubt that Hennessy had been killed as a result of “Sicilian vengeance,” the victim of a mafia conspiracy. The anti-immigration movement of the time saw Italian immigrants as poisoning American racial purity and unfair competition for domestic workers, as dangerous foreign radicals and incorrigible criminals sent to the United States by a hostile foreign government. Religion, economic forces, and terrorism shaped white Americans’ views of Italian immigrants as fundamentally foreign, as unwanted competition for labor, and as carriers of violent radicalism.
America now stands more divided over immigration than it has since the 1920s, cleaved between two nationalisms — one pluralistic, one exclusive — each claiming to represent the country as it should be. These were placed in vivid contrast at the Republican and Democratic conventions, where the Republican nominee vowed to ban Muslim immigration and Democrats introduced the country to the father of a slain American Muslim war hero.
Left to right: Rudy Giuliani, Paul Manafort, and Chris Christie. Getty Images (3) [Click link below to see photos]
Donald Trump’s entire candidacy has been premised on purging the United States of the foreign enemies within as a means of restoring national greatness. Among his most trusted surrogates are men like Paul Manafort, Chris Christie, and Rudy Giuliani, who now speak of Muslims and Mexicans in the same tone and language that was once reserved for their Italian-American ancestors, targeted by the nativist movement that began in the late 19th century.
But this incident — and the way the accompanying fervor was spread in the national press — helped define the character of Italian immigrants for Americans for generations, providing proof of their fundamental dangerousness for the anti-immigrant backlash that followed.
Before long, the local police would whittle their list down to 19 suspects. By March, 11 of them would be dead, murdered in an act of bloody public rage so massive that weeks afterward, a grand jury would conclude that the entire city was to blame read more…
When is the next full Moon? Here are the dates, times, and names of upcoming full Moons from the Farmers’ Almanac.
Have you ever wondered why full Moons were given these names? Learn more about full Moon names and get the fascinating facts behind their meanings! Remember, the Farmers’ Almanac also has more information on upcoming best times to view Solar and Lunar eclipses, the planets, meteor showers and more. Get your copy from our online store today!
(Times listed are Eastern Standard or Eastern Daylight where appropriate.)
Full Moon Calendar 2016
January 23rd-Full Wolf Moon-8:46 pm
February 22nd-Full Snow Moon-1:20 pm
March 23rd-Full Worm Moon-8:01 am
April 22nd-Full Pink Moon-1:24 am
May 21st-Full Flower Moon-5:14 pm
June 20th-Full Strawberry Moon-7:02 am
July 19th-Full Buck Moon-6:57 pm
August 18th-Full Sturgeon Moon-5:27 am
September 16th-Full Harvest Moon-3:05 pm
October 16th-Full Hunter’s Moon-12:23 am
November 14th-Full Beaver Moon-8:52 am
December 13th-Full Cold Moon-7:06 pm
. The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon – December During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.
Today is Giving Tuesday, a day designated to honor and support nonprofits on following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. American’s Wild Horse Families count on the Cloud Foundation, a recognized leader in the fight to protect and preserve them on our western public lands. Can we count on you?
ABOUT THE CLOUD FOUNDATION
The Cloud Foundation, is a Colorado 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, that grew out of Ginger Kathrens’ knowledge and fear for not only Cloud’s herd but other wild horses in the West. “I began to realize that we were losing America’s wild horses,” Ginger says. “They are rounded up by the thousand, losing in an instant what they value most–freedom and family. I realized that even Cloud and his family were in danger.”