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Moon & sun are passing figures of countless generations, and years coming or going wanderers too. Drifting life away on a boat or meeting age leading a horse by the mouth, each day is a journey and the journey itself home.

Basho, Back Roads To Far Towns, translated by Cid Corman and Kamaike Susumu.

Months and Days

An updated version of this calendar is available.

This calendar displays each lunar month as a horizontal strip of days stretching from right to left. The new moon which initiates the month is drawn at the far right followed by the waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, last quarter, waning crescent, and subsequent new moon. This display mimics the motion of the moon against the fixed stars when viewed from the northern hemisphere.

Each moon symbol is drawn according to the date and time UTC at which the moon phase occurs. Midnight UTC is marked either by ticks or by a vertical line. The vertical line also marks the start of the Gregorian month. Also marked are the conjunctions of the moon with the sun, the planets mercury, venus, mars, jupiter, and saturn, and the stars aldebaran, regulus, spica, and antares. The symbols for the sun, planets, and stars are drawn according to the date and time of the conjunction, and the symbols are also drawn above or below center according to whether the moon passes below or above the object symbolized.

Aside from the moons, most of these symbols are illegible at this resolution. And the dates which would appear on a poster size reproduction have been omitted to reduce the clutter. However, if you click on a point on the calendar, then my JavaScript may display an approximation to the date and time in the status line.

A larger image (19Kb) with dates may fit on your screen.

Adjacent lunar months are aligned by the full moons. The other phases do not align, they form waves. These waves depict the variation in the speed of the moon in its orbit as determined by the distance of the moon from the earth, the distance of the earth from the sun, and the degree to which these distances are in or out of phase with each other.

The original of this calendar was produced in 1975, drawn on a drum plotter driven by an IBM 1130 running an ephemeris coded on punched cards in FORTRAN. It only showed the new, full, and quarter moons. And the quarter moons were drawn backwards, as was only noticed and reported by Joan's father. The tools which built this version of the calendar are described in the colophon.

This calendar is Copyright © 1998,1999, 2000 by Roger E Critchlow Jr, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. All rights reserved. Permission granted for personal or educational use.

Roger E Critchlow Jr
Last modified: Sun Nov 19 12:28:44 MST 2006