February 14, 2018

14 Feb

February 14, 2018

Waning crescent moon

Moon’s age: 29 days 9 hours (at noon EST)

Fraction of the Moon illuminated: 3 percent (midnight EST) 1 percent (noon EST)

On this day in 469 A.D., the Roman priest Valentine was martyred, supposedly for marrying couples in the Christian faith. In 496, Pope Gelasius designated February 14th as the official feastday for Saint Valentine; the Catholic Church currently recognizes Valentine as a saint, but after 1969, no longer includes February 14th as a feastday. The modern version of this annual celebration dates to the Middle Ages, when it was combined with the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, traditionally held on the following day.

On this day in 1980, NASA launched a rocket from Cape Canaveral carrying the Solar Maximum Mission Observatory (SMMO), intended to record information about solar flares, and the first space vehicle designed for a return to Earth aboard the Space Shuttle.


Times. Time of day is indicated as UT (Universal Time), EST (Eastern Standard Time), CST (Central Standard Time), MST (Mountain Standard Time), and PST (Pacific Standard Time). To figure Daylight Saving Time when in effect locally, subtract one hour from the time indicated for a U.S. time zone. Because of the time difference between UT and North America, at the time of a full moon or other moon phase, the date may fall a day earlier in the United States (indicated when this occurs).

Fraction of the Moon illuminated. The percentage of the front (visible) side of the moon that is lit by sunlight, with 0 percent indicating a new moon (not visible) and 100 percent indicating a full moon (no shadow visible); quarter moons are 50 percent illuminated. Below 5 percent illumination, when the lit portion is a slim crescent (on the left side for a waning moon – “old crescent moon” and on the right side for a waxing moon – “new crescent moon”) it may not be visible in most locations. The percentage is computed by the Astronomical Applications Department/U.S. Naval Observatory. In the course of a 24 hour period, the percentage will either increase or decrease at a varying rate depending on the phase, with the slowest visible change occurring around the time of the full moon and the fastest visible change occurring around the time of the new moon. This is due to the effect of light from the sun illuminating the spherical surface of the Moon.

Moon’s age. One complete lunation (a complete cycle from one new moon to the next new moon) occurs in an average of 29.5 days. The “moon’s age” is the number of calendar days from the time of the new moon, shown here with the number of hours depicted as a rounded number. The figure listed is for noon, EST.

©  Copyright 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Kim Long.

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