Say Goodbye to Winter: The Spring Equinox is Sunday

Time to dip one's toes into the ocean

By Anna Breuer on 18 March 2022
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Spring has been in the air off and on since early February in many parts of the world.  But the good news is that spring, the season of rebirth and rejuvenation, is finally at our doorstep.  Indeed, the first day of spring is Sunday, March 20 and the equinox occurs at 11:33 a.m. EDT.

While meteorological spring is already upon us, astronomical spring, based on the position of the Earth in relation to the sun, begins on the spring equinox. The difference is that meteorologists and climatologists divide the seasons into three-month groupings where temperatures are similar, while the astronomical seasons begin on the year’s equinoxes and solstices.

What exactly is an equinox and what does it signify? Each year, the planet Earth goes through two equinoxes and two solstices.  The equinoxes occur in September and March, marking the start of fall and spring, respectively.  The solstices occur in June and December, marking the start of summer and winter.

Confused? So were we, until we consulted the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, known more popularly as NASA.

“An equinox occurs midway between the two solstices when the days and nights are the least equal,” NASA said in a statement.

The spring equinox marks the point at which daylight will start to be more prevalent than darkness.  Since the winter solstice in December, the hours of daylight have been growing longer and, on the day of the spring equinox, day and night are approximately equal in duration.

Indeed, the term “equinox” is a portmanteau combining the Latin word “aequus,” which means “equal,” and “nox,” which means “night.”

The days will continue to grow longer and the nights will continue to grow shorter until the summer solstice, which will take place on June 20.  The summer solstice occurs when the Earth’s north pole is tilted 23.5° towards the Sun.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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