At precisely 1:14 a.m. on March 20, the sun passed directly over the equator, marking the vernal equinox and the start of spring. That’s as simple astronomically as it gets, but that of course is Mother Earth’s sign to awake from her winter slumber—which is no small thing.
It marks one of two times that night and day are nearly equal in length each year. In the northern hemisphere, this is the first day of spring. In the southern, it’s the autumnal equinox, the beginning of fall, and it heralds the onset of winter. And, of course, the two reverse in September.
“Astronomers define an equinox as that moment when the sun arrives at one of two intersection points of the ecliptic (the sun’s path across the sky) and the celestial equator (Earth’s equator projected onto the sky),” Space.com explains. During the vernal equinox, which occurred at 5:14 Universal Time the morning of March 20, “the sun will be shining directly over the equator from the point of view of a spot in the Indian Ocean, 757 miles (1,218 km) southeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka.”
FULL ARTICLE: Equinox Heralds New Beginnings as First Day of Spring Dawns – ICTMN.com.