Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Vernal Equinox

The Vernal Equinox occurred at 5:48 AM on GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) this morning March 20th. The Vernal Equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the line of the Equator, which splits the Northern and Southern hemispheres of the earth. That means for my time zone EST (Eastern Standard Time in the USA), which is -5 hours from GMT, it would have been 12:48 AM. We are now using EDT (Easter Daylight Time where we set the clocks ahead to get more daylight) so the Vernal Equinox actually occurred at 1:48 AM. That means it is the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The reason the date is one day earlier this year is because it is a leap year which moved the happening forward by one day.

Vernal Equinox - This word comes from the Latin meaning Equal + Nights. This means the length of the day and the night are 12 hours long. This will slowly increase as the days progress so we will have more daylight in the Northern hemisphere until the first day of Summer in June. Conversely the Southern Hemisphere will have less daylight until their first day of winter. I made a post in December, The Change of Seasons, telling you the reason the tilt of the Earth causes the seasons to change. You can read my explanation of the happenings.

I hope this helps with the understanding of the changing seasons. Does this mean we will have no more snow in NE Ohio. Absolutely not, the seasons change slowly as the Sun males its way North. We sometime have a snow in April but the snow doesn't stay long. It will continue to get warmer each week as the days go by. Spring has sprung, can fishing be far behind?


Jack and Joann said...

Not only is it the first day of spring but it is the first day of the NCAA tournament!!!!!

When I was growing up on a farm north of Dayton years ago all we thought about was UD and the NIT tournament. Now my interest is in the NCAA.

Anonymous said...

Wow. NCAA tournament. LOL

We got sunshine today. But they are forecasting a possibility of snow tonight.

Do you see my photo of my car going 65 mph?

Rosy said...

Very interesting post here, I never knew that before about the lenght of the sunshine shinning away. Thanks. :)

Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

I had forgoten it was the first day of spring, thanks for reminding me, all our snow has gone, just on the mountains around us now.

jedijawa said...

Wow, a very descriptive post!