MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: Why didn't Feburary 1865 have a full moon?

Date: Mon Apr 16 14:01:55 2001
Posted By: Joe McLeod, Group Engineer, Advanced Services, Charter Communications
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 986785810.As

This is a fallacy. There was, in fact, a full moon in February, 1865. It occurred on 1865 February 10 at 16:27 UTC.

The specific chart is the USNO 1865 Moon Phases document.

This is not to say, however, that it is impossible for February to miss the full phase. The moon phases cycle every 29.5 days. Februrary, with 28 days (and 29 on a leap year), does miss a phase periodically.

In fact 1866, 1885, 1915, 1934, 1961 did not have a full phase.

In 1972, a leap year, the full moon occurred on 02/29 at 03:12 UTC.

As recently as 1999, there was no full moon during February... 1999 Moon Phase.

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