Set Clocks Ahead One Hour

(3.8) Spring forward — daylight saving time begins at 2am, Sunday, March 8. Seen here is an old clock face at the Ladd Observatory. You can still watch individual seconds pass by at the no-frills U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock.

The worm is turning: The Ladd Observatory is open to the public on Tuesday evenings, weather permitting. Clouds moved in last week, but this week’s weather looks more promising. There is a lot to see in the sky; who knows where they will be aiming the telescope. Venus is bright in the evenings; and Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, are all easy to spot in the early morning. Staff astronomer Francine Jackson adds:

The Moon is working its way toward its Full phase Monday. As this is often the time when the warmer weather starts to happen, causing the ground to begin to soften, this is often called the Full Worm Moon, in honor of the creatures that are beginning to wiggle up from below the surface, unfortunately just in time for many to become food for the returning bird populations.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has redesigned its website since last year but still has a FAQ page with queries such as, “Is midnight the end of a day or the beginning of a day?”

To avoid ambiguity, specification of an event as occurring on a particular day at 11:59 p.m. or 12:01 a.m. is a good idea, especially legal documents such as contracts and insurance policies. Another option would be to use 24-hour clock, using the designation of 0000 to refer to midnight at the beginning of a given day (or date) and 2400 to designate the end of a given day (or date).

Ladd Observatory, 210 Doyle Avenue, (directions)

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