SPRING BEGINS

SPRING BEGINS

Spring begins on the March or vernal equinox, which is when the amount of sunshine is approximately 12 hours long.  The amount of sunlight will incrementally increase until the first day of Summer.

The vernal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator.  This is the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator, from south to north. This happens on March 19, 20 or 21 every year. 

The time the sun crosses the equator marking the Vernal Equinox is different for each time zone.  For those in the Pacific, Mountain and Central time zones, this will occur on March 19th.  For those in the Eastern time zone, spring begins on March 20th at 12:30 a.m.

For more information visit almanac.com.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Get ready for longer days and increased sunshine. Tune up the lawn mower.  More sunshine means the grass will be growing. Use #SpringBegins to post on social media.

HISTORY

Human beings have been following the sun and creating a calendar based on seasons since the beginning of time. 

This year spring arrives a little earlier due to it being a leap year.  You might remember back on Leap Day a little math lesson regarding the Gregorian calendar.  To keep our calendar following the seasons so that spring happens when flowers grow and winter arrives when snow falls, an additional day was figured into years divisible by the number four.

However, that is a bit of an over-adjustment.  To correct it, years also evenly divisible by 100 but not 400 are skipped.  For example, in 1700, 1800 and 1900 there were no leap days added.  In the year 2000, a leap year was added to the first century year with a leap year since 1600.  Consider that Galileo was at the height of his scientific career, Shakespeare was nearing the end of his and Queen Elizabeth I would die three years later.

This has caused this spring to occur earlier than any living human being alive has every seen.  Before this year, the earliest spring on record took place in 1896.

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D. K. Smith

D. K. Smith

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