February and March Almanac 1999: Candlemas, Haiku Season, and Assorted Historic Events

As the closing year of the 20th century powers through its first quarter, our February and March Almanac has no shortage of celestial and historic events to observe.

| February/March 1999

groundhog day

Who knew a rodent frightened of its own shadow could have so much control over the weather?


Everyone has heard of Groundhog Day and Mardi Gras, but February and March have so much more to offer — such as Candlemas. And did you know it was also the start of Haiku season? And from the births of George Washington and Susan B. Anthony to the launch of Gemini 3, February and March are filled with historic events. It's all here in the 1999 February and March Almanac.

February 1999

1 No full moon this month; Venus now sets about 1 hour and 50 minutes after the sun.

2 Groundhog Day; Candlemas; in easternmost U.S. (NJ, NY, New England) a telescope shows the bright star Regulus coming out from behind the dark right edge of the moon right at moonrise.

3 Temperature this day in 1917 dropped to 27°F in downtown Miami (yes, that's Miami, Florida).

4 Asteroid Vesta at opposition — visible all night long and possibly just bright enough to glimpse with naked eye (see Sky & Telescope magazine for details); start of Japanese first haiku season (originally lunar month) — Sociable Month.

5 On February 4 and 5,1887, a record 3.7 inches of snow blanketed downtown San Francisco.

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