Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Myths about the spring equinox

Myths about the spring equinox

And it marks the first day of spring.

Meteorologists start spring after the coldest 90 days of the year, so we began it on March 1st.

Spring officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere at 5:29 a.m.

It's one of two days out of the year - the other being the autumnal equinox in September - when the Earth's axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in a "nearly" equal amount of daylight and darkness almost everywhere on Earth. On the day of the Spring Equinox, the sun is directly above the equator.

Early Egyptians were clearly impressed by the power of the equinox: They constructed the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising sun on the spring equinox.

Some say that if one erects a straight rod perpendicular to the ground, at the Equinox time there will be no shadow under the rod as the sun will be straight overhead Kenya.

Just before sunrise, the sun is even with the horizon and then rises during the day, reaching the maximum height exactly between sunrise and sunset. The equinox is the point at which the sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north.

Down at the South Pole this week, the sun will go from being above the horizon all the time to being just below. The theory seems to be that some sort of gravitational magic occurs, due to the sun being equidistant between the two poles of the earth.

Equinox is derived from the Latin term aequinoctium, which combines equal (aequus) and night (nox).

Yes, kind of. We've had spring-like weather for much of the last few months, with this winter being the warmest on record in Central Texas.

Are day and night equal? Multiple factors cause this, including the shape of the planet and the way the sun's light is bent as it passes through the atmosphere.

Good question. It's always in March, usually on the 20th, but can occur on the 19th or 21st because our rotation around the earth isn't exactly 365 days. This year it arrives in Michiana at 6:28AM on Monday, March 20th. It is an old custom that dates back to 4,000 years ago.

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