Join Laura Marseglia to learn about the Spring Equinox Talk in this live-streamed astronomy talk.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox (aka spring equinox or vernal equinox) occurs when the Sun crosses the equator line, heading north in the sky. This event marks the start of spring in the northern half of the globe. After this date, the Northern Hemisphere begins to be tilted more toward the Sun, resulting in increasing daylight hours and warming temperatures. (In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite: the March equinox marks the start of autumn, as the Southern Hemisphere begins to be tilted away from the Sun.)
WHEN IS THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING?
In 2021, the March equinox happens on Saturday, March 20, at 5:37 A.M. EDT. In the Northern Hemisphere, this date marks the start of the spring season.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the March equinox marks the start of autumn, while the September equinox marks the start of spring.
|Year||Spring Equinox (Northern Hemisphere)|
|2021||Saturday, March 20, at 5:37 A.M. EDT|
|2022||Sunday, March 20, at 11:33 A.M. EDT|
|2023||Monday, March 20, at 5:24 P.M. EDT|
|2024||Tuesday, March 19, at 11:06 P.M. EDT|
WHAT DOES “EQUINOX” MEAN, EXACTLY?
The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night).
On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world.