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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
Equinoxes and solstices happen twice a year.
Equinoxes and Solstices are opposite on either side of the equator. (Ill. not to scale)

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.

Northern Hemisphere Spring Equinox

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

Southern Hemisphere Spring Equinox

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

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, Earth, Calendar

In this Article


Equinox & Solstice

  1. Nearly Equal Night & Day
  2. March Equinox
  3. 10 Facts: March Equinox
  4. Vernal (Spring) Equinox
  5. Customs Around March Equinox
  6. September Equinox
  7. Autumnal (Fall) Equinox
  8. 10 Facts: September Equinox
  9. Customs: September Equinox
  10. June Solstice
  11. Customs Around June Solstice
  12. Summer Solstice
  13. December Solstice
  14. Winter Solstice

Equinox & Solstice Worldwide

Astronomical Season Calculator

Sunrise & Sunset times

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