How Long Ago Was February

How Long Ago Was February - About every four years we add an extra day to the calendar on February 29th, also known as race day. Simply put, the extra 24 hours are built into the calendar to ensure it tracks the Earths solar movements. Although the modern calendar consists of 365 days, the actual time it takes Earth to orbit its star is slightly longer-about 365.2421 days. The difference may seem negligible, but over decades and centuries, the quarter-day gap per year can increase. To ensure the consistency of the true astrological year, it is necessary to periodically add an extra day to make up for lost time and restore the celestial calendar.

Many calendars, including the Hebrew, Chinese, and Buddhist calendars, are lunisolar, meaning their dates reflect the position of the Moon as well as the position of the Earth in the Sun. Since there is a natural difference of about 11 days between the year measured by the lunar cycle and that measured by the Earths cycle, such a calendar sometimes has to include additional months, known as intercalary or intercalary months. , to continue.

How Long Ago Was February

How Long Ago Was February

However, the intervening months were not necessarily permanent. Historians remain unclear about how the ancient Romans kept track of their years, mainly because the Romans themselves may not have been entirely sure. It appears that the Roman calendar consisted of ten months plus the winter period which is not well defined, the varying length of which caused the calendar to become irrelevant to the solar year. Eventually, this uncertain time was replaced by the new months of January and February, but the situation remained complicated. They used a 23-day intercalary month called Mercedonius to account for the difference between their year and the solar year, calculating between the months but in February for reasons that may have to do with the cycle of the moon.

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To make matters more confusing, the decision to retain Mercedónius was often in the hands of the consuls, who used their power to shorten or lengthen the year according to their political ambitions. This is why the Roman year and the solar year did not get along well during the time of Julius Caesar.

Mercedonius-as-we-find-his-system seemed to resent Caesar, the consul-general who had overthrown Rome and had greatly changed the course of Europe. In addition to conquering Gaul and transforming Rome from a republic to an empire, Caesar reintroduced the Roman calendar, giving us the design that most of the world still uses today.

While in Egypt, Caesar was convinced that he had mastered the Egyptian solar calendar, which consisted of 365 days and the occasional intercalary month inserted when astronomers checked the correct positions of the stars. Caesar and the philosopher Sosigenes of Alexandria made one important change: instead of relying on the stars, they simply added a day every four years. In keeping with the Roman tradition of resenting the length of February, that day would occur in the second month of the year - thus Leap Day was born. Caesar added two additional months to the year 46 BC. to make up for a misunderstood interlude and the Julian calendar came into effect on January 1, 45 BC.

In the 16th century, scholars realized that time was still running out-Caesars calculation of a year of 365.25 days was close, but they still estimated the solar year at 11 minutes. This was a problem for the Catholic Church as Easter moved from its traditional place, the first Sunday after the full moon after the vernal equinox, by ten days. Pope Gregory XIII had a modified calendar made, which preserved the leap day but accounted for the error by erasing the centuries that were not divisible by 400 (1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years, but 2000 was ). The introduction of the Gregorian calendar marked the final change to the Western calendar as we know it today.

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Experts point out that the Gregorian calculation of the solar year - 365.2425 - is still not complete, so further corrections will be needed. Fortunately, the Gregorian calendar is only off by one day every 3,030 years, so humans have some time before this becomes a problem.

Interestingly, many Leap Day traditions revolve around love and marriage. Tradition says that in 5th century Ireland, St. Bridget mourned St. Patrick that women cannot marry men. So legend has St. Patrick identified the one day that does not occur each year, February 29, as the day when women will be allowed to propose to men. In some places, Leap Day is known as Bachelors Day.

This tradition spread across the Irish Sea to Scotland and England, where the British added a twist - if the man refused the womans proposal, he owed her several pairs of fine gloves, perhaps to hide the fact that she was not engaged. the ring. However, in Greek culture it is considered bad luck to get married on a leap day, and statistics show that Greek couples continue to take this superstition seriously.

How Long Ago Was February

There are only about 5 million people worldwide who were born on February 29, and the odds of being born on a leap day are 1-in-1,461. A few famous - including actor and singer Dinah Shore (born 1916), motivational speaker Tony Robbins (born 1960) and hip-hop artist Ja Rule (born 1976) - jumped. Leaplings technically only get to celebrate their birthday once every four years, but they get to be part of a super team.

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About 300 million years ago, Earth did not have seven continents, but one large continent called Pangea, surrounded by a single ocean called Panthalassa.

The explanation of the formation of Pangea led to the modern theory of plate movement, which shows that the upper crust broke into several plates that rest on top of the crust, the mantle.

During the planets 4.5-year history, several large continents formed and broke apart, due to the tearing and rotation of planet Earth, which makes up 84% of the planets volume, according to the US Geological Survey (opens in a new tab). That destruction and formation of superplanets greatly changed the history of the planet.

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This is what has driven the evolution of the entire planet throughout history. This is the largest hinterland of the planet, said Brendan Murphy, a professor of geology at the University of St. Francis Xavier, of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

More than a century ago, scientist Alfred Wegener proposed the idea of ​​an ancient supercontinent, which he named Pangea (sometimes Pangea), after combining several lines of evidence.

The first and most obvious was that the continents fit together like a tongue and groove, something that is very apparent on any detailed map, Murphy said. Another indication that the worlds continents were all one land mass comes from the geological record. Coal deposits found in Pennsylvania are similar to those found in Poland, Great Britain and Germany during the same period. This shows that North America and Europe must be farmland at once. And the orientation of magnetic minerals in geologic sediments shows how Earths magnetic poles have migrated over geologic time, Murphy said.

How Long Ago Was February

In the fossil record, similar plants, such as the seed fern Glossopteris, have been found on continents far apart. Mountain ranges now located on different continents, such as the Appalachians in the United States and the Atlas Mountains along Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia were all part of the Central Pangea Mountains, which resulted from the collision of the superworlds Gondwana and Laurussia.

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Formation of continents during the separation of Pangea due to continental drift. (Photo: Dimitrios Karamitros via Getty Images)

The word Pangaea comes from the Greek pan meaning whole and gaia or Earth, according to the Online Thesaurus (opens in a new tab). The supercontinent formed in a slow process over several hundred million years.

At the beginning of the Phanerozoic eon (541 million years to the present), almost all the continents were located in the southern hemisphere, but Gondwana, the largest continent, stretched from the South Pole to the equator, according to a chapter in the scientific book Ancient Continents and Paleogeography of Earth (opens in a new tab ) (Elsevier, 2021). The Northern Hemisphere is mostly covered by the Panthalassic Ocean. Another ocean - called Iapetus, after the mythical Greek titan - between the paleo-continents of Laurentia, Baltica and Gondwana, began to close during the Ordovician period (485 million to 444 million years ago) then disappeared.

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