Vernal Equinox 2019: Google Doodles Celebrate as Earth's Seasons Change

22 Septembre, 2019, 21:29 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • GOES-16 satellite snaps breathtaking vernal equinox from 22,300 miles

Many people define this day as the start of the Spring season.

21st full moon will be the first full moon of spring in the Northern Hemisphere (and the first full moon of autumn for the Southern Hemisphere). Some places might get a few more minutes of sunlight (Fairbanks, Alaska will get 12 hours 15 minutes of daylight, h/t Vox) but who's really counting? "And then during the equinoxes you see that the Northern and Southern hemispheres are equally lit up", he said.

In the northern hemisphere, the March equinox - since it marks the end of winter and ushers in a warmer climate - is called Vernal or Spring Equinox. If you were standing on the equator, the sun would pass directly overhead as it makes its way north.

The perfectly vertical line dividing the darkness and light visible in the image is a result of the earth's axis pointing neither toward nor away from the sun. This week, March 20, is the sixth time in over 200 years - Equinox at 3:58 p.m. MDT and Full Moon four hours later at 7:43 p.m. MDT. But it's also March's Full Moon - both on the same day.

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"Vernal equinox, two moments in the year when the Sun is exactly above the Equator and day and night are of equal length; also, either of the two points in the sky where the ecliptic (the Sun's annual pathway) and the celestial equator intersect". The March equinox is often used by astronomers to measure a tropical year - the mean time it takes for the Earth to complete a single orbit around the sun. It nearly suggests the earth to be a seed that germinates this day.

Another reason why the equinoxes don't bring equal amounts of day and night time is due to the refraction of light. Sunrise occurs as soon as the sun's upper edge appears on the horizon, while sunset doesn't occur until the sun's upper edge disappears from the horizon. There's some folklore that says you can balance an uncooked egg on its end during the vernal equinox.

At lower latitudes closer to the equator, the increase is slower.

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