2022, February 3:  Winter’s Midpoint

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.

sunset over ocean
Sunset view.


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.



2021, December 6: The moon with earthshine.

2022, July 31:  Morning Planets, Evening Earthshine

July 31, 2022: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are scattered across the plane of the solar system before sunrise.  The crescent moon, displaying earthshine, is visible in the west after sundown.

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2020, September 4: Venus, Sirius, Procyon, and Orion

2022, July 30: Triangular Saturn, Evening Moon

July 30, 2022: Saturn forms an interesting triangle with two stars in Capricornus before daybreak.  Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn parade in the morning sky. The thin crescent moon is in the west-northwest after sunset.

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2021, May 13: The crescent moon is 3.2° to the upper left of Mercury.

2022, July 29: Jupiter Retrogrades, Meteor Shower, Planets Parade

July 29, 2022: Jupiter’s retrograde begins today.  The Southern Delta Aquariid meteor shower peaks after midnight.  Four morning planets parade across the sky.  Catch a glimpse of Mercury after sunset.

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Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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