Friday, March 20, 2015

March 20, 2015: a special spring equinox

Today is the first day of spring!!!! Well, at least for the northern hemisphere. March 20th marks the spring (vernal) equinox in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal (fall) equinox in the southern hemisphere. The equinox marks the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator, the imaginary line in the sky about the earth’s equator. Equinox is Latin for “equal night” which means, in theory, that the day and night are exactly the same length at 12 hours each over all the world.

What is also cool about today is there is a supermoon. A supermoon is when the moon turns new only 14 hours after reaching lunar perigee (the moon’s closet point to the earth in its orbit) and appears brighter and bigger in the night sky.

There is also a total solar eclipse which occurred over the North Atlantic Ocean. A total solar eclipse is when the dark silhouette of the moon completely obscures the bright light of the sun, allowing a fainter solar corona to be visible.

 The path of totality (the visibility) was visible at approximately 09:41 GMT and could only be seen near North Atlantic Ocean near Greenland, Iceland and parts of Northern Europe.

Today is being called Freaky Friday because of all the events which occur today. Whether you are enjoying nature’s amazing events in the sky or the coming of spring and the promise of warmer weather, have a great day and enjoy the coming of spring.