First Day of Spring 2015: Vernal Equinox


The March equinox happens at the same moment across the world but is converted to local time. In 2015, it falls on March 20 at 6:45 P.M. EDT, 5:45 P.M. CDT, 4:45 P.M. MDT, and 3:45 P.M. PDT.

Astronomically speaking, the March equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic. In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox is known as the vernal, or spring, equinox, and marks the start of the spring season.

Translated literally, equinox means “equal night.” Because the Sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes. A second equinox occurs each year on Sept. 22 or 23; in 2015, it will be on Sept. 23 at 4:20 A.M. EDT. This date will mark the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Southern (vernal denotes “spring”).

The vernal equinox is the first day of the year when we have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night.

There are two equinoxes every year – vernal and autumnal. Those two days are the only times during the when the sunrise is due east and the sunset is due west.

The date is significant in Christianity because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

It is a widely held assumption that one can only balance an egg on its end on the equinoxes but this is simply an urban legend . There is no gravitational or other reasons why one would be able to balance an egg only on the equinoxes.

Hurricane season also begins in late spring.

Tornado Alley is most active this time of year.

The first spring flowers are typically daffodils, dandelions, lilies, tulips, iris and lilacs to name a few.

Spring fever is not just a saying. Experts say the body’s makeup changes due to different diets, hormone production and temperature.

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About Kevin

Mayor - City of Oakley, Data Center Manager of Mainframe Operations and Optimization – USS-POSCO INDUSTRIES, Co-Founder and Board Member - Friends of Oakley A Community Foundation, Advisory Board – Opportunity Junction, Commissioner - Contra Costa Transportation Authority, Board Member - Tri Delta Transit and Transplan
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