5 Things To Know About The First Day of Spring

March 20, 2019
5 Things To Know About The First Day of Spring

By Jasely Molina

 

Happy Spring Equinox! New York winters are unpredictable: from 60 degree days in January to frigid nights to snowless work days off, but you have endured the cold and now it's time to celebrate with warmer weather! 

Here's five things you should know about the first day of spring: 

1. What were does the term Spring Equinox come from? 

The word "equinox" originates from the Latin word "equinoxium," which translates to "equality of night and day." 

2. When does Spring Equinox begin? 

While March 20th is officially the first day of Spring, the equinox does not happen until 5:58 p.m. ET.

(Credit: National Weather Service)

3. What happens during the equinox? 

According to the National Weather Service,  the equinox occurs when the Earth's axis is "tilted [at 23.5 degrees] neither toward nor away from the sun," meaning that there is 12 hours lightness and darkness almost equally split in the Northern and Southern hemisphere, signaling the seasonal change. In New York, the day will last 12 hours and 8 minutes. 

4. The first day of Spring also marks the final "supermoon"of the year. 

Known as the "Super Worm Moon," this phenomenon happens on March 20th at 9:37 p.m. Eastern Time. According to NASA, a supermoon refers to an event where "the moon’s orbit is closest (perigee) to Earth at the same time it is full," making the moon appear bigger and brighter than usual. 

This will be the first time in 19 years that a supermoon has occured concurrently with Spring Equinox. 

5. Spring does not always land on the same day. 

Contrary to popular belief, Spring does not always begin on March 21st. The last time spring equinox happened on that date was in 2007, and it will not occur again until 2101.

This is due to the Earth's rotation around the sun, which takes 365.25 days. This also means that this year's equinox will take place roughly 4 hours later than the previous year. 


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