SPRING EQUINOX (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     21st March 2024        

Context: March 19 marked the spring or vernal equinox, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Spring Equinox

  • About: Equinoxes occur twice a year when the Sun aligns directly above the equator during Earth's orbit around it. These moments typically fall around March 19, 20 or 21 and September 22 or 23.
  • Equal Night and Day: The term "equinox" stems from the Latin for "equal night," as during these events, day and night lengths are approximately equal worldwide.
  • March Equinox and Vernal Awakening: Known as the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, it signifies the onset of spring, with longer and sunnier days as the hemisphere tilts toward the Sun.
  • Equinox and Autumnal Beginnings: The autumnal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere marks the beginning of fall, as the hemisphere starts tilting away from the Sun.
  • Hemispheric Contrasts: As the Northern Hemisphere transitions into spring, the Southern Hemisphere begins its descent into fall, signifying opposite seasons.
  • Reversed Equinoxes in the Southern Hemisphere: In the Southern Hemisphere, the March equinox heralds the onset of autumn, while the September equinox marks the start of spring.
  • Seasonal Effects: Each equinox brings distinct changes: in the Southern Hemisphere, the March equinox brings cooler winds and falling leaves, while in the Northern Hemisphere, it signals later sunrises and earlier sunsets, indicative of impending fall.