It was snow all over the ground. So what! It was the first day of spring. I woke up this morning with this amazing dawn looking at me through my bedroom glass panels. And before evn getting up, I took the camera….

Dawn

It was a gorgeous sunrise over lake Michigan. Let the first sunrise of spring bring peace back to this planet.

Sunrise

Vernal equinox

March 20, 2006, is a date that most of us recognize as symbolic of changing seasons. As we welcome spring, people south of the equator are actually gearing up for the cooler temperatures of autumn.

Far from being an arbitrary indicator of the changing seasons, March 20 (March 21 in some years) is significant for astronomical reasons. On March 20, 2006, at precisely 1:26 P.M. EST (18:26 Universal Time), the Sun will cross directly over the Earth’s equator. This moment is known as the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. For the Southern Hemisphere, this is the moment of the autumnal equinox.

Translated literally, equinox means “equal night.” Because the sun is positioned above the equator, day and night are about equal in length all over the world during the equinoxes. A second equinox occurs each year on September 22 or 23; in 2006, it will be on September 22 at 11:03 P.M. EDT (Sept. 23, 03:03 UT*). This date will mark the autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the vernal equinox in the Southern (vernal denotes “spring”).

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