Myths about the spring equinox

Posted March 20, 2017

In 2017, the vernal equinox falls on Monday, March 20th at 6:29 a.m. EDT.

For astronomers the spring equinox marks the start of spring, which is roughly halfway between the winter and summer solstices.

While the Equinox is considered a pretty uneventful occurrence, in Kenya it is significant to the rain patterns - according to Mr Samuel Mwangi, the deputy director of the Kenya Meteorological Department.

Experts have worked out 1.28pm on Monday as the time Kenya will witness the Equinox, a phenomenon when the sun is directly above the equator.

The Vernal Equinox is another name given to the Spring Equinox and labels the March Equinox is the Northern Hemisphere. For one thing, our calendar is only an approximation of how long it takes the earth to orbit the sun, so it's not really an even number of days.

If you can perform this balancing act at the equinox, you should be able to perform it any other time of the year, with the right egg and a bit of practice. Spring will bring more showers. That's because we don't measure sunrise and sunset from the middle of the sun.

The sun's new angle during the equinox will change the length of your shadow, but conditions would have to be ideal for this to happen.

Down at the South Pole this week, the sun will go from being above the horizon all the time to being just below. Flowers, longer days, warmer weather, birds chirping. The opposite is occurring at the North Pole. While almost all spots on Earth have about 12 hours of darkness and light as spring begins, it's not exact. Night and day will be nearly equal length.

The Latin word "vernal" means spring and "nox" means night. 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.

Spring is officially here, whether the weather agrees or not.

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. It is an old custom that dates back to 4,000 years ago.