February 3, 2021: Winter’s midpoint occurs this evening at 9:46 p.m. CDT. Groundhog Day is near the midway point of the season.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:01 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:09 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
In the northern hemisphere, winter’s midpoint occurs today at 9:46 p.m. CST. The season is 88 days, 23 hours, and 34 minutes long. The first day of spring – Vernal Equinox – occurs on March 20 at 10:33 a.m. CDT.
Days are lengthening. The sun is rising farther northward along the horizon, appearing higher in the south at noon, and setting farther northward. Today the sun is in the sun for 10 hours, 8 minutes at this latitude.
Groundhog Day, when the legendary marmots “predict” the weather until the first day of spring, occurs near winter’s midpoint. The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts snow and that the rodent’s prediction is incorrect. Time will tell.
The date of equal daylight and darkness occurs in a week, when daylight equals the length of darkness, the amount of time between the end of evening twilight and the beginning of morning twilight.
Venus, Mars, and Mercury shine from the morning sky, While Jupiter is the bright evening planet with the crescent moon to its upper left.
- 2023, December 26: Cold Moon, Venus, Jupiter, SaturnDecember 26, 2023: The Cold Moon is visible during the nighttime hours. Venus shines before sunrise while Jupiter and Saturn are visible after sundown.
- 2023, December 25: Telescope First Light, Bright PlanetsDecember 25, 2023: For sky watchers with new telescopes, here’s what to look at before dawn or after sunset.
- 2023, December 24: Morning Moon, Pleiades, Antares Heliacal RisingDecember 24, 2023: The moon appears near the Pleiades star cluster during the earlier morning hours. Antares is at its first morning appearance, known as the heliacal rising.
- 2023, December 23: Check out Planet Uranus, Pleiades near MoonDecember 23, 2023: Look for the planet Uranus and the Pleiades star cluster through a binocular during nighttime hours.
- 2023, December 22: Mercury at Inferior Conjunction, Bright Jupiter, Gibbous MoonDecember 22, 2023: Mercury is between Earth and Sun, known as inferior conjunction. Jupiter and the gibbous moon are celestial companions during nighttime hours.