Nature Blog Network

Friday, March 20, 2009

Equinox

Today we celebrate the sun, the source of energy for all living things on earth.  We welcome it back to our half of the world, this star, which bathes us in light and heat and makes this third rock the one that is ideal for life… liquid water, breathable air… it really is amazing, when you think about it, that we ended up in this place of all the places in the universe… 


This morning, at 6:44 am local time, the sun was directly above the equator, and then it moved, once again, into the sky above the northern hemisphere, where it will remain until the autumnal equinox in 6 months.  Ok, technically, I know, it’s the earth that does the movement around the sun; and due to earth’s tilt, the southern hemisphere leans toward the sin for half the year and the northern hemisphere tilts toward the sun for the other half.  And this morning we crossed the line… but, scientifically accurate though it may be, it’s less poetic to talk about the earth moving than the sun moving.


And so, with poetry in mind, I shall welcome the sun to the northern hemisphere.


What does this mean for us, practically?  The sun’s angle in the sky will be higher; our midday shadows will no longer be elongated.  The days will continue to lengthen; this day is the mid point, with 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light.  Many plants, whose phenophases are triggered by lengthening days, will continue to march slowly toward green. 


Happy first day of spring!!! (It’s might snow tomorrow).  

1 comment:

  1. Actually, at this latitude we had 12 hours of daylight on the 17th. The atmosphere refracts the sun's light when it's near the horizon, so the sun actually has to be 51' below the horizon for it to look like it's completely set.

    Also, off topic, you're now on the Daily Parker blogroll.

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