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Happy New Year's Day … or is it?

Although the Gregorian calendar, which says today is the first day of 2013, is used as the official calendar virtually everywhere, there are still many calendar systems being used today, primarily for religious purposes.
BY WAYNE HARRIS-WYRICK Modified: December 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm •  Published: January 1, 2013

If you use a 210-day calendar, your birthday would come around more often. So I did a quick calculation: a person celebrating their 40th birthday in the Gregorian calendar would be planning for their 70th birthday a few weeks away in the Pawukon calendar.

Hmm, thanks, but I'll stay with our normal calendar.

Astronomy notes

Tonight, at 11 p.m., Earth reaches perihelion, the closest approach to the sun in its yearly orbit. Aphelion, farthest from the sun, occurs July 5 at 10 a.m. If you want to know what summer is like when we are closest to the sun, ask an Aussie. Summer began 11 days ago down under.

Programs at the Planetarium at Science Museum Oklahoma maintain an accurate schedule based on the Gregorian calendar. Shows run daily, showing you what's in the sky and what's coming soon to a sky near you. For more information, go to or call 602-3761.

The Oklahoma City Astronomy Club meets at 6:45 p.m., Jan. 11. Guests are free and welcome.

Planet Visibility Report: Jupiter shines brilliantly high in the east after sunset. Mars hangs around all month quite low in the western twilight, so low you'll likely not see it. Saturn rises around 2 a.m. with Venus rising just ahead of the sun. Mercury is lost with the sun all month. New moon occurs Jan. 11 with full moon on the Jan. 27.

Wayne Harris-Wyrick is director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium at Science Museum Oklahoma. Questions or comments may be emailed to