What is Equinox meaning? | Equinox Crucial Facts

In both the spring and fall seasons, the calendar marks the equinox. But what is Equinox meaning?

The word equinox means the day and night are equal. This word comes from two Latin words that mean equal and night. Read about an extraordinary phenomenon the eclipse of June the 21st 2020.

Equinox meaning

What is the Equinox meaning?

Equinox means a situation when the length of the day and the length of the night are approximately the same, about 12 hours each. Because the axis of the  Earth is tilted, the length of a day changes during the course of a year, with the longest stretch of daylight in midsummer, and the shortest day falling in midwinter.

Equinox Definition

What happens during an equinox?

During the equinox, the line of sun and shadow on the earth dividing night from day runs directly north and south, the only times in the year it will do so. Equinoxes are directly related to the changing of the seasons. Equinoxes and solstices are overall the tilt of the Earth’s rotation axis which is relative to its orbit around the Sun. If the Earth’s axis were straight up and down, there would be no seasons. 

But the Earth’s axis is tilted at 23.5° away from vertical, and when we orbit the Sun, our axis stays pointed in the same direction, roughly towards the North Star. 

Looking at the northern hemisphere, when the Earth’s axis points directly away from the Sun, it is the winter solstice, and the Sun appears lowest in the sky. 

When the Earth’s axis points directly toward the Sun, it’s the summer solstice, and the Sun appears highest in the sky.

Types of equinox

Between these two solstices are the two equinoxes, when the Earth’s axis is exactly perpendicular to an imaginary line drawn between the Earth and Sun.

The Vernal Equinox

The Vernal Equinox marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere in March and the beginning of autumn in the southern hemisphere.

The autumn equinox

The autumn equinox begins to fall in September, the northern hemisphere, and spring in the southern hemisphere.

When did it happen in 2020?

In 2020 The Vernal or spring equinox occurred on Thursday, March 19 at 8:49 PM Pacific time and 11:49 pm Eastern. In 2020  The September or autumn equinox occurred on Tuesday, September 22 at 6:30 AM Pacific time and 9:30 AM Eastern.

Leave a Comment