According to 2017 calendars, today, March 20, is the first day of spring although the view from my window does not agree: piles of snow line the campus walks and much of the ground is still covered with snow. Astronomically (and this is the date used by our calendars), the first day of spring is determined by the date on which the vernal (spring) equinox falls – March 19, 20, or 21. This year in our time zone the equinox arrived at 6:49 am EDT.
An equinox is “[o]ne of the two periods in the year when the days and nights are equal in length all over the earth, owing to the sun’s crossing the equator. Hence the precise moment at which the sun crosses the equator.” (Oxford English Dictionary)
Curious? Want more information? See the “Dig Deeper” below.
Epstein, Dave. “Why is Monday considered spring? The vernal equinox explained.” Boston Globe, March 19, 2017.
“Meteorological Versus Astronomical Seasons.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
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