John Lindsey: First day of spring brings change, 'equal nights' to Earth

Angie Massey
March 20, 2017

This year, the phenomenon is expected to occur on March 20.

As a kid growing up in Santa Rosa, one of the more interesting urban legends that I often heard was the one about easily balancing eggs on their ends during the equinox because of the equal length of the day and night.

In the northern hemisphere it's March 20 (the Sun crosses the Equator moving northward).

In the Northern Hemisphere, astronomers and scientists use the March Equinox as the start of spring, which ends on the June Solstice, when astronomical summer begins.

Roman dictator Julius Caesar introduced the concept of equinoxes.

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Remember when Spring Equinox was celebrated on March 21?

Instead of a tilt away from or toward the sun, the Earth's axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the Earth and the sun during an equinox. At this time, the sun's most direct rays cross over from the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere.

The duration of day time in the northern hemisphere, which has been increasing steadily since December 21, will continue until the phenomenon of summer solstice. In September, the equinoxes reverse - the autumnal equinox occurs in the northern hemisphere while southern hemisphere experiences the vernal equinox.

So, from the day of the spring equinox the day is longer than the night and from the day of the autumn equinox the night becomes longer than the day.

During the summer solstice, the sun in the middle of the day is at it's highest point in the sky of the year. The meteorologists, on the contrary, see the change in seasons differently.

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