A Most Unusual Julian Date Approaching
For those of us who enjoy unusual numerical situations and astronomical trivia, I note (and have been anticipating for a while now) the approaching occurrence of a once in a lifetime Julian date now just days away. On this weekend over the course of moving from the night of Saturday, May 10th, into Sunday, May 11th, observers around the globe will have the potential for contributing observations with a Julian date of 2,456,789. While certainly of no scientific consequence whatever, it is a truly unique numerical situation for those of us who use this traditional dating system in our VS observing and the last such that will ever include the final six numbers of a Julian date being all positive and coming in numerical sequence.
As perhaps a bit of AAVSO-associated trivia in this area, I recall my old friend and mentor Edward Oravec (OV) long ago telling me about a small tight knit group of older AAVSOers members who would celebrate the 10,000 day change in the Julian calendar's date (like 2,440,000 and 2,450,000) as marking the turning of a calendar page in the AAVSO's history, since all observers strictly empoyed the Julian system to report observations to HQ in those days. This was, of course, an occasion most of them got to personally acknowledge only once or twice in the course of their observing careers. Ed indicated that this group of old friends would try to gather on the nearest convenient day to the date's change-over and raise a glass of wine, or other spirits, to mark the occasion. Sounds to me like next Sunday would be an equally fitting occasion to do the same, at least individually.