Everything you could possibly need to know about the Spring Equinox this year

Sophia Ankel
Wednesday 20 March 2019 11:45

It may not feel like it, but as today's Google Doodle will tell you, the Spring Equinox is here, meaning its officially the first day of spring.

Yes, that's right, the Spring Equinox, otherwise known as the Vernal Equinox (you knew that, right?), will occur tonight, at around 9:56pm UK time and it will be extra special this year.

Wait, what? Spring Equinox? Special?

Let's begin with what the Spring Equinox actually is.

While the meteorological spring fell on March 1st, the astronomical spring falls today. An equinox happens between summer and winter solstices and marks the point when the sun positions itself exactly above the equator before crossing it.

It only happens twice a year, once during the Autumn Equinox and once during the Spring Equinox. According to the Met Office, this equinox marks the beginning of astronomical spring, meaning from today onwards the days will be longer than the nights.

And this year it just happens to be coinciding with a supermoon, making for an extra special cosmic event.

But enough of all the scientific talk, here is what this all really means:

1.) Hello sunshine!

For those craving that Vitamin D, you don't have to wait much longer. The spring equinox brings with it longer days and shorter nights and as the Earth wakes up from its winter sleep, people will be pleased to see the sun.

More sun obviously means more positivity, something which – in the aftermath of a tragic terror attack and the Brexit deadline looming – everyone is in desperate need of.

It also means health benefits, a boost in happiness levels and possibly a tan.

Those living close to the equator especially, are in for a treat, as they will see the sun pass directly over their heads today, which only happens twice a year.

This is also a friendly reminder that in 11 days, daylight savings will change again. Time to come out of hibernation.


2.) A cosmic triple play

This year, the Spring Equinox is particularly special because it will coincide with another pretty cool cosmic event– the supermoon. This is the years third and final supermoon of the year.

But it isn't any ordinary supermoon, it's actually the "Full Worm Supermoon", which will mark the first time in 19 years since a full moon AND a Spring Equinox have coincided.

This means that the moon orbits the Earth in an ellipse – an oval that brings it closer to and farther from Earth as it goes around. This also means the moon will be a mere 223,309 miles away from our planet at one point, so get a real good look to see if you can spot anything on its surface.

Get out those binoculars.


3.) Queue the hay fever

As exciting as the advent of Spring is, for some people, this unfortunately also means the beginning of a whole lot of sneezing and crying (not intentionally).

It just happens that as the flowers begin to bloom and pollen is rife in the air, tissues also come out and people get sick and tired of saying "bless you".


Whatever all this means, keep your eyes glued to the sky tonight because you might witness a true astronomical rarity!

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