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Out Of Mind » PERCEPTUAL AWARENESS » INFORMATIVE GUIDES FOR THE SHIFT IN CONSCIOUSNESS » March equinox! Happy spring or fall

March equinox! Happy spring or fall

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1 March equinox! Happy spring or fall on Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:19 am

PurpleSkyz

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March equinox! Happy spring or fall

By Deborah Byrd in Astronomy Essentials | March 20, 2017
The 2017 vernal or spring (or fall) equinox occurred on March 20 at 10:29 UTC. Spring for the north – fall for the south – of Earth’s globe.


Spring is officially here in the Northern Hemisphere! Chirag Upreti in the Bronx, New York caught this image on the morning of March 20, 2017, moments after the equinox sun crossed the celestial equator. He wrote: “The last quarter moon is seen behind new leaves that sprout on still naked branches. A beautiful sign of the much anticipated eruption of the foliage after the winter dormancy.” Thanks, Chirag!
Although there’s nothing official about it, it’s traditional to say the upcoming March or vernal equinox signals the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. This equinox does provide a hallmark for the sun’s motion in our sky, marking that special moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator going from south to north. The 2017 vernal equinox arrives on March 20 at 10:29 UTC. In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re enjoying earlier sunrises, later sunsets, softer winds, sprouting plants. Meanwhile, the opposite season – later sunrises, earlier sunset, chillier winds, dry and falling leaves – south of the equator. For all of us, the moon will be at the last quarter phase. Follow the links below to learn more about this equinox.
What is an equinox?
Where should I look to see signs of the equinox in nature?
Does the sun rise due east and set due west at the equinox?
Last quarter moon at March equinox 2017
Translate March 20 at 10:29 UTC to your time zone

Image from 2011, via Geosync
What is an equinox? Each equinox and solstice is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and ceaseless motion in orbit. The equinox is also an event you can think about as happening on the imaginary dome of our sky.
The Earth-centered view is that the celestial equator is a great circle dividing Earth’s sky into Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The celestial equator wraps the sky directly above Earth’s equator. At the equinox, the sun crosses the celestial equator, to enter the sky’s Northern Hemisphere.
The Earth-in-space view is that, because Earth doesn’t orbit upright, but is instead tilted on its axis by 23-and-a-half degrees, Earth’s Northern and Southern hemispheres trade places in receiving the sun’s light and warmth most directly, as Earth orbits the sun. We have an equinox twice a year – spring and fall – when the tilt of the Earth’s axis and Earth’s orbit around the sun combine in such a way that the axis is inclined neither away from nor toward the sun.

In 2017, spring came early to parts of the Northern Hemisphere. This photo of cherry blossoms opening in Japan is from February 21, by EarthSky community member Beverly Fish.
At the equinox, Earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the sun’s rays equally. Night and day are approximately equal in length. The word equinox comes from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night).
But, since Earth never stops moving around the sun, these days of equal sunlight and night will change quickly.
The video below was the Astronomy Picture of the Day for March 19, 2014. APOD explained:
At an equinox, the Earth’s terminator – the dividing line between day and night – becomes vertical and connects the north and south poles. The time-lapse video [below] demonstrates this by displaying an entire year on planet Earth in 12 seconds. From geosynchronous orbit, the Meteosat satellite recorded these infrared images of the Earth every day at the same local time. The video started at the September 2010 equinox with the terminator line being vertical. As the Earth revolved around the sun, the terminator was seen to tilt in a way that provides less daily sunlight to the northern hemisphere, causing winter in the north. As the year progressed, the March 2011 equinox arrived halfway through the video, followed by the terminator tilting the other way, causing winter in the southern hemisphere — and summer in the north. The captured year ends again with the September equinox, concluding another of billions of trips the Earth has taken — and will take — around the sun.

https://youtu.be/LUW51lvIFjg

https://youtu.be/LUW51lvIFjg

Where should I look to see signs of the equinox in nature? Forget about the weather for a moment, and think only about the daylight. In terms of daylight, the knowledge that spring is here – and summer is coming – is everywhere now, on the northern half of Earth’s globe.
If you live in Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, you’ve likely been noticing the earlier dawns and later sunsets for some weeks now.
Also notice the arc of the sun across the sky each day. You’ll find it’s shifting toward the north. Responding to the change in daylight, birds and butterflies are migrating back northward, too, along with the path of the sun.
The longer days do bring with them warmer weather. People are leaving their winter coats at home. Trees are budding, and plants are beginning a new cycle of growth. In many places, spring flowers are beginning to bloom.
Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, the days are getting shorter and nights longer. A chill is in the air. Fall is here, and winter is coming!

The day arc of the sun, every hour, during the equinox as seen on the celestial dome, from the pole. Image via Tau’olunga at Wikimedia Commons.
Does the sun rise due east and set due west at the equinox? Yes, it does. And that’s true no matter where you live on Earth, because we all see the same sky.
No matter where you are on Earth, you have a due east and due west point on your horizon. That point marks the intersection of your horizon with the celestial equator – the imaginary line above the true equator of the Earth.
At the equinoxes, the sun appears overhead at noon as seen from Earth’s equator, as the illustration above shows. This illustration shows the sun’s location on the celestial equator, every hour, on the day of the equinox.
That’s why the sun rises due east and sets due west for all of us. The sun is on the celestial equator, and the celestial equator intersects all of our horizons at points due east and due west.
This fact makes the day of an equinox a good day for finding due east and due west from your yard or other favorite site for watching the sky. Just go outside around sunset or sunrise and notice the location of the sun on the horizon with respect to familiar landmarks.
If you do this, you’ll be able to use those landmarks to find those cardinal directions in the weeks and months ahead, long after Earth has moved on in its orbit around the sun, carrying the sunrise and sunset points northward.
So enjoy the 2017 spring equinox on March 20 – an event that happens on our sky’s dome – and a seasonal marker in Earth’s orbit around the sun!

The equinox is an event that takes place in Earth’s orbit around the sun.
Bottom line: In 2017, the vernal equinox comes on March 20 at 10:29 UTC, or 5:29 a.m. Central Daylight Time for us in the central U.S. Translate to your time zone here.
2017 equinox: Sun rises due east and sets due west
A Chinese perspective on the spring equinox

Thanks to: http://earthsky.org



  

2 Re: March equinox! Happy spring or fall on Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:20 am

PurpleSkyz

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Admin
Equinox sun rises due east, sets due west
By Bruce McClure in Tonight | March 20, 2017



  • Mar 20 - Mar 26



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Flattened sunset photo above by Helio de Carvalho Vital.
The March 2017 equinox happens on March 20 at 10:29 Universal Time, which is 5:29 a.m. Central Daylight Time for us in the central U.S. Translate to your time zone. The March equinox signals spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. On this day, the sun rises due east and sets due west.
It may seem counterintuitive. But it’s true no matter where you live on Earth.
To understand the due-east and due-west rising and setting of an equinox sun, you have to think of the reality of Earth in space. First think of why the sun’s path across our sky shifts from season to season. It’s because our world is tilted on its axis with respect to its orbit around the sun.

The seasons result from the Earth's rotational axis tilting 23.5 degrees out of perpendicular to the ecliptic - or Earth's orbital plane.
Now think about what an equinox is. It’s an event that happens on the imaginary dome of Earth’s sky. It marks that special moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator going from south to north. And it also, of course, represents a point on Earth’s orbit.
The celestial equator is a great circle dividing the imaginary celestial sphere into its northern and southern hemispheres. The celestial equator wraps the sky directly above Earth’s equator. At the March equinox, the sun crosses the celestial equator to enter the sky’s Northern Hemisphere.

The celestial equator is a circle drawn around the sky, above Earth’s equator. The ecliptic is the sun’s apparent yearly path in front of the constellations of the Zodiac. The ecliptic and celestial equator intersect at the spring and autumn equinox points.
All these components are imaginary, yet what happens at every equinox is very real – as real as the sun’s passage across the sky each day and as real as the change of the seasons.
No matter where you are on Earth (except the North and South Poles), you have a due east and due west point on your horizon. That point marks the intersection of your horizon with the celestial equator, the imaginary line above the true equator of the Earth.
And that’s why the sun rises due east and sets due west, for all of us, at the equinox. The equinox sun is on the celestial equator. No matter where you are on Earth, the celestial equator crosses your horizon at due east or due west.

Where does the celestial equator intersect your horizon? No matter what your latitude is, it intersects your horizon at points due east and due west. Read more about how an observer’s latitude affects your visible sky.
This fact makes the day of an equinox a good day for finding due east and due west from your yard or other favorite site for watching the sky. Just go outside around sunset or sunrise and notice the location of the sun on the horizon with respect to familiar landmarks.
If you do this, you’ll be able to use those landmarks to find those cardinal directions in the weeks and months ahead, long after Earth has moved on in its orbit around the sun, carrying the sunrise and sunset points northward.
Our ancestors may not have understood the equinoxes and solstices as events that occur in the course of Earth’s yearly orbit around the sun. But if they were observant – and some were very observant indeed – they surely marked today as being midway between the sun’s lowest path across the sky in winter and highest path across the sky in summer.
If they thought in terms of four directions, they might also have learned a fact of nature that occurs whenever there’s an equinox: each middway point between the sun’s lowest and highest path.
That is, the sun rises due east and sets due west on the day of the equinox, as seen from everywhere on the globe.

The day arc of the sun, every hour, during the equinox as seen on the celestial dome, from the pole. Image via Tau’olunga at Wikimedia Commons.
Bottom line: The 2017 March equinox comes on March 20 at 10:29 Universal Time – or at 5:29 a.m. Central Daylight Time for us in the central U.S. On this day, the sun rises due east and sets due west.
A Chinese perspective on the spring equinox
Everything you need to know: Vernal or spring equinox 2017
Hamal: Ancient equinox star
Read more: Understanding celestial coordinates

Thanks to: http://earthsky.org



  

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