Well the wait is finally over (almost), and with the official start of spring only a matter of days away, we thought we’d delve into the world of the equinox and discuss some facts on the subject for you to learn from before heading off on sunny glamping UK breaks!
There are actually two official beginnings for spring; the astronomical and meteorological, and there are two equinoxes in every year – one in March and then again in September – which is when the Sun shines directly on the equator and the length of night and day are almost identical.
Here are four more facts to digest:
Spring is NOW!
Astronomers and scientists both refer to the March equinox as the start of spring, which ends on the June Solstice, when our astronomical summer begins.
It’s also the autumnal equinox…somewhere
The March equinox is known as the spring equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere, but in the Southern Hemisphere they’ll be just days away from their autumnal equinox.
Accuracy across the world
There are a whole variety of cultures located in all four corners of the world who prepare to celebrate the whole day as March equinox approaches. However, the equinox actually occurs at a specific moment in time. This moment comes at the exact instant the sun crosses the celestial equator. This is because it is at that exact point in time that the Earth’s axis is neither tilted away from nor towards the Sun.
In case you were wondering, 2016’s exact equinox beginning is on March 20, at 04:30 UTC.
Nine years ago, Spring equinox was marked on 21st March, and this will happen again a long time from now. In 2101 to be exact!
The March equinox actually fluctuates over three days; 19th, 20th or 21st March. During the 21st century, the March equinox has only occured twice on 21st March – once in 2003 and 2007. The next 19th March equinox will be more a more common occurrence during the last decades of the century.
We hope you enjoyed these facts, and we also hope you enjoy a beautiful, sun-filled spring!
Image: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center under Creative Commons.