Wed | Oct 18, 2017

A perfect February

Published:Saturday | February 7, 2015 | 12:00 AM

If you happened to take a close look at your calendar, you would have realised that February has four perfect weeks.

The last time this happened was in 2004. A perfect 28-day February, beginning on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday, happens every six years, until January 31 falls on a Saturday on a leap year; then we wait five more years.

"We have something called sidereal time, and February is the only month that has 28 days. It comes in cycles. It can happen in the next 10 years or 100 years. It's a universal thing; it has nothing to do with the natural happening," said Errol Rickman, member of the Astronomical Association of Jamaica.

"The other thing is that they have to adjust the year because we have a quarter day that piles up over the years and so, with February being a lunar month and starting on a Sunday, we will see something like this happening again," Rickman told The Gleaner.

Sidereal time is time kept with respect to the distant stars. Because the Earth moves on its orbit around the Sun, the Earth must rotate more than 360 degrees in one solar day.