Thursday, August 29, 2013
6th Chodesh *Elul* Sep-Oct 2013-2014
Correction: I just noticed that I had a couple of days wrong at the end of the 6th month, showing Sep 4 and 5, instead of Oct 4 and 5. The oversight has been corrected.
There is a glaring anomaly in the 6th month calendar presented here below. It has to do with the lunar orbit, and presents some rather unusual circumstances. This is the first time I've encountered this issue so dramatically. So let's give it some explanation.
Usually, in the transition between the 14th and 15th day, the moon rises about the time of sunset, plus or minus a few minutes or so. This month, it does not. The moon rises about 10 minutes before sunset on Sept 19, at the beginning of the 14th lunar day, instead of the 15th lunar day. This anomaly occurs 1 day, 4 hours, and 26 minutes earlier than it normally would, from the time of the full moon until near the beginning of the 15th lunar day at sunset. There is an explanation for this, and it shouldn't affect the days of the calendar for the month, including Shabbat.
What appears to cause this anomaly this next month is the length of the lunar orbit. The first half of the month is shorter than the last half of the month. Perigee, which occurs in the first half of the month on Sept 15, is when the moon is closer to the earth, meaning the orbit is shorter and will occur faster. This is why the period between conjunction and the full moon is shorter than usual.
In the last half of the month, Apogee occurs on Sept 27. This means the moon is farther than usual from the earth causing the orbit to be a bit longer. I won't bore you with the actual time differences. If you are interested, send me an email and I'll provide further info. Please feel free to send me an email if you have any questions about this. Also, let me know if you notice any problems with what is presented here.