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Officials in Texas Declare State of Emergency Ahead of April Total Solar Eclipse

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The March astronomy calendar is packed with a number of exciting events taking place in the night skies. The month will bring the spring equinox as well as stunning views of Mercury and a full moon.

Despite all of these happenings in March, astronomers will be looking toward April for the much-anticipated total solar eclipse. This much anticipated event has caused Texas to declare a state of emergency already.

Here is what you need to know about what is going on in the celestial world these days.

Spring Equinox - March 19

The beginning of astronomical spring will officially get started on Tuesday, March 19 at 11:06 pm EDT. This date and time is the earliest in March that the spring equinox has happened since 1896.

The equinox marks the time when the amount of darkness and sunlight is equal all around the world. The days will begin to last longer than the nights in areas north of the equator after the equinox has passed. Conversely, the nights will be longer than the days across the Southern Hemisphere.

Note that the astronomical spring date differs from what meteorologists recognize as the start of the season on March 1. The meteorological spring is based on a combination of annual temperature cycles as well as the Gregorian calendar. March, April, and May make up the meteorological spring.

Although the meteorological spring is a set date that never changes, the astronomical spring takes into account a number of different factors.

These factors include the shape of the orbit around the sun in addition to the presence of a Leap year. This is why the exact date and time that marks the official start of the season varies from year to year.


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