What is the Equinox?

Equinox describes the time of year when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is neither towards nor away from the sun—when the Sun is aligned exactly with the Earth’s equator.   On the day of the Equinox, the sun rises at and sets at 6:00 am/pm local time everywhere on Earth, with the exception of the North and South Pole.  Daylight Savings Time can alter the actual time of sunrise/sunset, but regardless, everyone experiences 12 hours of daylight on the day of Equinox.

The March equinox is often referred to as the “Vernal” or “Spring” equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, and the September equinox is often described as the “Autumnal” or “Fall” equinox.

When does it happen?

Twice a year, in March and September.  The March Equinox this year takes place on the 20th, and the September Equinox happens on the 22nd.

What does it mean?

On the Equinox, the night and day are the same duration, or equal.  That means areas that are the same distance North and South of the equator will have the same amount of day and night because the sun spends approximately the same amount of time above and below the horizon in every location in the world.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox is synonymous with the coming of “Spring” and rebirth.

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