Spring equinox

Image of the solstice and equinox

Image - Radiotierraviva.blogspot.com.es

Our planet never stays in the same position with respect to the Sun: as it orbits around it and rotates on itself, we can enjoy day and night, as well as the different changes that take place throughout as the months go by.

But the human being has always had a need to name everything, also the always curious day in which there are the same hours of light as at night known as the equinox. Depending on the time of year in which it occurs, we say that it is the autumn equinox or the spring equinox. On this occasion, we are going to talk about the latter.

What is the equinox?

Equinox image

If we take etymology, equinox is a term that comes from Latin whose meaning is "equal night". But when we talk about the phenomenon, this is not entirely true due to the size of the sun and the atmospheric characteristics of the planet, which cause there to be differences in the length of the day at different latitudes. Thus, the definition of the term is as follows: moments of the year in which the king star is located right in the plane of the celestial equator.

With it, the opposite annual change of season occurs in each terrestrial hemisphere.

When does it happen?

The equinoxes occur between the 20th and March 21 and between 22 and September 23. In the case of the northern hemisphere, spring begins on those days of the third month, and autumn on those days of September; just the opposite of the southern hemisphere.

What is the vernal equinox?

Location of the spring equinoctial point

Image - Wikimedia / Navelegante

The spring equinox is one of the most anticipated times of the year. It is the moment when we leave winter behind and we can enjoy more temperatures that will become more and more pleasant. But why does it happen? What is the scientific explanation for this phenomenon?

To answer this question it is necessary to have some knowledge of astronomy, and that is the vernal equinox occurs when the Sun passes through the first point of Aries, which is a point on the celestial equator where the king star in its apparent annual movement through the ecliptic -maximum circle of the celestial sphere that indicates the apparent course of the Sun during a year- from south to north with respect to the equatorial plane.

Things can get a bit complicated, because the first point of Aries, as well as the first point of Libra - the point through which the star passes on the equinox of September 22-23 - is not found in the constellations that name them. due to the precession movement, which is the movement experienced by the axis of rotation of the planet. Specifically, the point that interests us this time is 8 degrees from the border with Aquarius.

Does it always happen on the same dates?

Yes, of course, but not at the same times. In fact, while in 2012 it occurred on March 20 at 05:14, in 2018 it will be on March 20 at 16:15.

What happens during the vernal equinox?

Hanami, in Japan, days to see the sakura blossoms

Image - Flickr / Dick Thomas Johnson

In addition to what we have commented above, during that day and the days after, many countries celebrate their spring festivals. It is a very special time of the year that is repeated every twelve months, and therefore it turns out to be a perfect excuse to enjoy.

If you want to know some of the most important, here is a list:

  • Japan: in the Japanese country celebrates Hanami, which are the festivals to observe and contemplate the beauty of the flowers of the Japanese cherry trees or sakuras.
  • China: occurs exactly 104 days after the September solstice. During that day they pay homage to the ancestors.
  • Poland: During March 21 they perform a parade where there is no lack of the sphinx of the goddess Marzanna, which is associated with rites related to the death and rebirth of nature.
  • Mexico: on March 21 many people dress in white to go to the different archaeological sites to revitalize themselves.
  • Uruguay: on the second Saturday of October a parade of decorated caravans drawn by horses roam the streets.

How does the March equinox affect us?

Polar bears awaken from hibernation with the March equinox

To finish, I am going to tell you how the equinox that occurs in March affects us, since it does so in different ways: Here on our beloved planet, important things happen that day, his:

  • At the North Pole a day begins that will last six months.
  • A night that will last six months begins at the South Pole.
  • Spring begins in the northern hemisphere, which is called the vernal or vernal equinox.
  • Autumn begins in the southern hemisphere, which is called the autumnal or autumnal equinox.

We hope you enjoy the vernal equinox 🙂.


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