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Does groundhog day have any astronomical meaning?

Does groundhog day have any astronomical meaning? Topic: Famous 5 on the case season 1
July 17, 2019 / By Dorean
Question: Groundhog day is February 2nd and is a minor celebration in the USA. Supposedly, if a groundhog comes out of its burrow and sees its shadow, we will have 6 more weeks of winter. ********** Let me rephrase: What is the astronomical meaning of groundhog day and its coincidence on February 2nd (or a nearby day)? And I don't mean whether or not an oversized rodent sees its shadow. ***** Groundhog day coincides with the earth having traveled 1/8th or 45° of its orbit past the winter solstice. The significance of this is more than just the position on the orbital ellipse, but also that the rate of change in the length of the day. From here until roughly May 5th, the length of the days will be changing the fastest (roughly 71% in the change of the length of the day occurs during this period (sin 45°) ). During a period of rapid change in solar radiance, it is not surprising that our ancestors noticed the variability in the end of winter. Furthermore, the 1/4 of the year that the northern hemisphere received the least solar radiance was over. It is not surprising that many cultures consider this point to be the start of spring. In addition to the examples cited by Dr. Bob, the east Asian cultures celebrate the cross-quarter day as the beginning of spring. Asian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_term Celts: http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/seasons....
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Best Answers: Does groundhog day have any astronomical meaning?

Cassia Cassia | 10 days ago
Yes, Groundhog Day does have an astronomical significance. The seasons start on the solstices (around June 21 and December 21) and the equinoxes (around March 21 and September 21). There are some famous holidays near these dates -- Christmas falls near the December solstice, and many cultures celebrate Midsummer's Day around June 21. There is also a cultural history of holidays on the days roughly halfway between the abovementioned days. These are known as cross-quarter days. All but one are well known in American culture: February 2 Groundhog Day (which may be rooted in older holidays, such as Candlemas) May 1 May Day August 1 Lammas October 31/Nov 1/Nov 2 Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls' Day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-quart... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter_day... So Groundhog Day isn't just a pointless weather forecast; it also roughly marks the midway point of winter. (Note: In the US, we mark the start of the seasons on the equinoxes and solstices; but some other cultures center their seasons about these days. In that case, the cross-quarter days would mark the transition days between seasons.) --- Here's a brief article that makes the same point as I do about the astronomical significance of Groundhog Day and the other cross-quarter days: http://www.whyy.org/tv12/franklinfacts/o... Here's an article about the spiritual history of Groundhog Day and older holidays at this time: http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/candlemas.html I'm baffled by all these thumbs down. These holidays represent a mixture of astronomical events and human cultural history. Are you denying the reality of this history? Are you unable to admit that there might be more to Groundhog Day than Punxsatawney Phil?
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Cassia Originally Answered: Is it legal to have a pet prairie dog or groundhog in Houston, TX? Where can I buy one and for how much?
Houston has a ban on wild animals. I do not know if groundhogs would fall under it. I would suggest contacting animal control and asking them. Here is a small portion of the law. ARTICLE III. KEEPING OF WILD ANIMALS* Sec. 6-51. Wild animal defined. As used in this article, the term wild animal shall mean any mammal, amphibian, reptile or fowl of a species that is wild by nature and that, because of its size, vicious nature or other characteristics, is dangerous to human beings. Such animals shall include, but not be limited to, lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, bears, wolves, wolf-dog hybrids, cougars, coyotes, coyote-dog hybrids, raccoons, skunks (whether deodorized or not), apes, gorillas, monkeys of a species whose average adult weight is 20 pounds or more, foxes, elephants, rhinoceroses, alligators, crocodiles, caymans, fowl larger than a macaw, all forms of venomous reptiles and any snake that will grow to a length greater than eight feet. The term shall also include any animal listed as an "endangered species" under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, or any fowl protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The term wild animal shall not include gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice and domesticated rabbits. (Ord. No. 99-404, § 1, 4-28-99) Sec. 6-52. Possession prohibited. (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to be in possession of a wild animal within the city. (b) It shall be unlawful for the owner or other person in possession or control of any lot, tract or parcel of land within the city or any residence or business premises situated thereon to knowingly suffer or permit any other person to be in possession of a wild animal upon the property, residence or premises. (c) As used in this section, the term to be in possession includes any harboring or keeping of a wild animal, whether on a temporary or permanent basis and includes, without limitation, holding or keeping the wild animal for the temporary and/or limited purpose of sale or transfer or offering of sale or transfer to another person. (d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the wild animal is being possessed in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws and that: (1) The wild animal is being kept for treatment in an animal hospital operated by a veterinarian licensed in Texas; (2) The wild animal is being kept at a public zoo that is accredited by a nationally recognized zoological association; (3) The wild animal is being kept at a shelter operated by a state or federally recognized humane agency for the purpose of its transfer to a refuge or sanctuary; (4) The wild animal is being kept for medical research or teaching purposes at a medical school or licensed hospital or by a university or college offering an accredited degree program; (5) The wild animal is in the possession of an airline, motor freight agency, rail freight agency or other carrier, and its possession in the city is incidental to transportation, provided that the wild animal is secured within a cage or other enclosure that is adequate to prevent its escape; or (6) The wild animal is being kept or transported temporarily for a production in accordance with a permit or registration under section 6-55 of this Code. (Ord. No. 99-404, § 1, 4-28-99)

Ann Ann
No, there is no astronomical meaning or even any bit of science in this. It's just a superstition. By the way, groundhogs are lousy forecasters. A Canadian study for 13 cities in the past 30 to 40 years puts the success rate level at 37%. Also, the National Climatic Data Center reportedly has stated that the overall prediction accuracy rate is around 39%.
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Win Win
There are ALWAYS "6 more weeks of winter" after groundhog day. Always have been, always will be. That is the way we define winter. The "official" first day of spring is the spring equinox, typically March 21st. Winter doesn't "officially end" until the day before. Of course, March 21st occurs about 6 weeks after February 2nd anyway. --------------------------- The real question is, whether or not winter-like weather continues for those 6 weeks or not. That is the quesiton that we "ask" the groundhog. In my opinion, the entire argument of shadows is counter-intuitive anyway. Shadows seem to vanish on cloudy days due to the clouds diffusing the sun's light making the entire sky be the light source instead of primarily just the direct sunlight. Plus, clouds on February 2nd implying spring-like weather for the rest of February and early March...why does that make sense? Or, clear sky on February 2nd implying winter-like weather for the rest of February and early March...why does that make sense?
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Seward Seward
Growing up in a place where snow never ended before March and often continued into May, I always thought the concept of winter possibly ending on Feb. 2 to be bizarre. Of COURSE there will be at least 6 more weeks of winter.
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Nevada Nevada
There is nothing scientific related to it. However, has anyone ever checked the groundhog's accuracy about early spring (I take to possibly also mean a mild late-winter?) against the predictions made by meteorologists? As often as the local weather is wrong, I wonder how much better they are than a groundhog?
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Kimberley Kimberley
It's my son's dad's birthday. I used to cry for the reason that my son would take into account his birthday for the reason that it is on Groundhog Day. My little boy could name his dad to mention completely satisfied birthday and his dad could brush him off or now not reply the cellphone. Very unhappy to give an explanation for to a 6 yr ancient why his dad did not have time to speak to him. :( Great poem BTW.
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Humbert Humbert
This tradition is strictly for entertainment. It is not based on any science. What happens when the sun is shining in New York and that ground hog sees his shadow, but it is cloudy in Pennsylvania and that ground hog doesn't see his shadow?
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Ernie Ernie
No. This is an interesting and delightful piece of American culture, but it has no scientific backing. It is all superstition, I'm afraid.
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Colton Colton
About as much as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny do. EDIT: Let me make it simple for you to understand! NOTHING!!!
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Colton Originally Answered: What catalog is used for distances of astronomical objects?
There are several catalogs. SIMBAD is one, and NOMAD is another. These are really catalogs of catalogs. The Interactive NGC is very useful, but it has only (!) 13,228 objects. There are over 9000 asto catalogs, each for a different purpose.

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