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Spring Equinox – Vernal Equinox

The Vernal (Spring) Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is the Autumnal (Fall) Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa.

Equinox and solstice illustration.
Equinox and solstice illustration.

Equinoxes and solstices happen twice a year.

Not Entirely Equal Day & Night

On the equinoxes the Sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal – but not quite.

The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north and vice versa in September.

Vernal Equinox – Northern Hemisphere

(USA, Central America, Canada, Europe, Asia, northern Africa)

Vernal Equinox – Southern Hemisphere

(Australia, New Zealand, South America, southern Africa)

September Equinox in Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA was on
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 9:30 am EDT (Change city)

September Equinox in Universal Coordinated Time was on
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 13:30 UTC

First Day of Spring?

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Vernal (Spring) Equinox marks the first day of astronomical spring. There's also another, more common definition of when the seasons start, namely meteorological definitions, which are based on average temperatures rather that astronomical events.

Topics: Astronomy, Seasons, March, September, Sun, Equinox