Saturday, January 8, 2022

Still Life with Robin: The Year Is Too Too Much

Image by Arghamallick via Creative Commons

by Peggy Robin


I like to kick off the new year with a look at what 2022 holds for us – including the palindrome dates, the Friday the 13ths, the blue moons and other celestial phenomena of note, and a few historic anniversaries. If I miss some biggies, please feel free to add to this list!


Palindrome dates:


According to the website 2022 has just one palindrome date (reading the same forward and backward) in M/DD/YYYY format: February 20, 2022 (2-20-2022)


And there's one palindrome date in the DD/M/YYYY date format: 22 February 2022 (22-02-2022)


However, when you are using just the 2-digit year format, there’s this wonderful occurrence on February 22, 2022: It’s called “Twos Day” - 2-22-22 and yes, it's on a Tuesday.


Three weeks before, there’s also 2-2-22 … but it falls on a Wednesday.


Friday the 13th:


Now for the news that affects anyone suffering from friggatriskaidekaphobia: There’s just one date this year that could make you want to stay in bed all day, and that’s Friday, May 13.


Sky News:


Just two days later, on May 15, 2022, get out and look at the night sky. That’s the date of the only total eclipse of the moon in 2022.


That May 15-16 lunar eclipse is what's called a “super moon” – a moon that is within 90% of its closest point to earth in its orbit. It is the first of FOUR supermoons in 2022:


May 16 225,015 miles (362,127 km)

June 14 222,238 miles (357,658 km)

July 13 222,089 miles (357,418 km)

August 12 224,569 miles (361,409 km)


There is no “blue moon” at all in 2022. A “blue moon” can be either of two lunar phenomena: 1. It’s the fourth full moon to occur within a season, or 2. It’s second full moon to fall within a calendar month. The next blue moon to fit the monthly definition will take place on August 30-31, 2023. The next seasonal blue will take place on August 19-20, 2024 . With that long a gap, you can really say something happens “once in a blue moon”!


From the heavens above and in the future to the earth in the past – let’s look at some historic anniversaries:


500 years ago on September 6, 1522 – The Vittoria returned to Spain, making it the first ship to complete the circumnavigation of the globe. Magellan, the captain of the original three ships that set out, did not make it back; his successor, Juan Sebastián Elcano, is hardly known to schoolchildren, but perhaps on the 500th anniversary of his voyage, he will receive the recognition he deserves, so long overdue.


1500 years ago, in 522, Amalaric, age 20, is proclaimed king of the Visigoths. There’s no month and day, so we can’t be sure when to celebrate King Amalric’s Day – and there’s actually not a lot to celebrate, as Amalric’s reign was less than a decade. In 531, after the defeat of his Visigothic army by Childebert, on behalf of Clovis, King of the Franks, Amalric escaped to Barcelona, where he was assassinated by his own men.  


1900 years ago, in September, 122, the Roman Emperor Hadrian visited Britannia and ordered the building of a wall to keep out the CaledoniansPicts, and other unruly Scottish tribes. The start of construction was thought to have begun on September 13, and would use the labor of 5,000 men. Parts of Hadrian’s Wall are still standing. If you would like to celebrate the 1900th anniversary of the Wall on-site, the Housesteads Roman Fort and Museum in Northumberland is considered one of the best preserved ruins to visit:


If you would like to mark an anniversary of something that happened closer to your own backyard and closer to our own time, you can celebrate the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial sometime this spring: The date for the centennial celebration has yet to be announced.



Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays. 

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