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Rare Spring Equinox Aligns with Planetary Shows Before 2024 Total Eclipse

2 months ago
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At precisely March 20, 11:06 PM EDT, the Northern Hemisphere will be celebrating spring equinox 2024. On this date, day and night reach nearly equal duration worldwide as the sun crosses the celestial equator going northward.

The equinox timing qualifies as the earliest in 124 years. It initiates the reversal of waning daylight across the global north.

What's in a Name?

The equinox derives its name from the Latin for “equal night” based on the sun’s position above the equator.

From this point forward through the summer solstice in June, days lengthen more than nights. The opposite holds for south of the equator—with earlier sunsets, longer darkness—as fall and winter approach there.

The spring equinox usually occurs March 20 or 21st in synchronization with Earth’s orbit around the sun.

But a confluence of factors including leap years and the Gregorian calendar leads to variation. This year’s exact alignment on March 19 at 11:33 PM UTC yields the exceptionally early turn of seasons. It won’t repeat for over a century until 2102.


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