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Vernal Equinox: The First Day of Spring 2016 is Today

This year, the vernal equinox takes place on Sunday, March 20 at 12:30 a.m. EDT, or late in the evening on Saturday, March 19 if you live in the central (11:30 p.m.), mountain (10:30 p.m.) or pacific (9:30 p.m.) time zones. At this time, the sun is crossing over from the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere. During this process, the sun is shining directly over the earth’s equator, bathing the earth’s northern and southern hemispheres in nearly an equal amount of sunlight.

 

Report by Paula Antolini
March 20, 2016 4:09AM EDT

 

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Vernal Equinox: The First Day of Spring 2016 is Today

This weekend is a special time in astronomy. This is when the sun’s direct rays are crossing over the Earth’s equator from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere, reports weather.com.

Nearly Equal Daylight

During the equinox, nearly equal amounts of daylight and darkness are experienced throughout the world.

Okay, that’s great but what does it mean? It means that the vernal equinox is here, and astronomically speaking, spring has officially begun.

Twice a year, around March 20 or 21 and September 22 or 23, the sun’s most direct rays shine on the equator. These two days are known as the vernal (spring) equinox and the autumnal (fall) equinox, respectively.

This year, the vernal equinox takes place on Sunday, March 20 at 12:30 a.m. EDT, or late in the evening on Saturday, March 19 if you live in the central (11:30 p.m.), mountain (10:30 p.m.) or pacific (9:30 p.m.) time zones. At this time, the sun is crossing over from the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere. During this process, the sun is shining directly over the earth’s equator, bathing the earth’s northern and southern hemispheres in nearly an equal amount of sunlight.

Instead of a tilt away from or toward the sun, the Earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the Earth and the sun during an equinox. During the equinox, both day and night are balanced to nearly 12 hours each all over the world.

Good news for those in the northern hemisphere: Daylight continues to grow longer until the summer solstice which occurs on Monday, June 20. The opposite occurs in the southern hemisphere, where daylight continues to grow shorter.

 

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HAPPY SPRING!

(Video from Johnny Jabbour):

 

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