Thursday, March 19, 2015

Super Spring, Super Moon

The spring equinox officially arrives at 4:45 pm (MST) on Friday, March 20, 2015.  That's the time when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night are nearly equal.  

FROM timeanddate.com -

Equinox and solstice illustration
Equinoxes and Solstices are opposite on either side of the equator. Photo from timeanddate.com

  FROM timeanddate.com -

The Sun Crosses the Equator

The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north. This happens on March 19, 20 or 21st every year.

Equinoxes and solstices are opposite on either side of the equator, and the March equinox is also known as the "spring vernal equinox" in the northern hemisphere and as the "autumnal fall equinox" in the southern hemisphere.


Why is it Called “Equinox”?

On the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world. This is the reason it's called an “equinox”, derived from Latin, meaning "equal night". However, in reality equinoxes don't have exactly 12 hours daylight. 


What Happens on the Equinox?

The Earth's axis is always tilted at an angle of about 23.5° in relation to the ecliptic, the imaginary plane created by the Earth's path around the Sun. On any other day of the year, the Earth's axis tilts a little away from or towards the Sun. But on the two equinoxes, the tilt of the Earth's is neither away from nor towards the Sun. In fact, it is perpendicular to the Sun's rays, like the illustration shows.


Celebrating new Beginnings

The March equinox has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth in the Northern Hemisphere. Many cultures celebrate spring festivals and holidays around the March equinox, like Easter and Passover.


Friday also brings another Supermoon, where a full or new moon occurs during the moon's closest approach to earth.  This is according to AccuWeather.  It's super because it appears larger and brighter in the night sky than other full moons during year.   

Friday, March 20, 2015 will be the beginning of a super spring season and a super moon! Can't beat that!

A supermoon rises through the trees in Spencer, N.Y., Aug. 10, 2014. (Photo: Tom Pennington, Getty Images)






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