(ORDO NEWS) — Equity occurs on Saturday, marking the beginning of the autumn season in the Northern Hemisphere. But what does that really mean? This is what you need to know about how we share the year using the Earth’s orbit.
What is equinox?
The earth revolves around the sun at an angle. For most of the year, the Earth’s axis is tilted either to the Sun or from it. This means that solar heat and light drop unevenly into the northern and southern halves of the planet.
During equinox, the Earth’s axis and its orbit line up so that both hemispheres receive an equal amount of sunlight. On the day of equinox, almost the same amount of time lasts day and night, although you may have several additional minutes, depending on where you are on the planet.
Spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere may occur between March 19 and 21, depending on the year. Autumn equinox can occur between September 21 and 24.
What is solstice?
During sunstones, the Earth has the strongest slope to or from the Sun. This means that the hemisphere receives a very different amount of sunlight, and days and nights are most uneven.
During the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the upper half of the Earth is tilted to the Sun. During this period, we observe the longest day and the shortest night of the year. This solstice falls on the period from June 20 to 22.
Meanwhile, on the day of the winter solstice, the Northern Hemisphere deviates from the Sun, which leads to the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Winter solstice falls on the period from December 20 to 23.
What is the difference between weather and astronomical seasons?
These are just two different ways to take stock of the year. Meteorological seasons are determined by the weather. They break the year into three-month seasons, depending on the annual temperature cycles. According to this calendar, spring begins on March 1, summer – June 1, autumn – September 1, and winter – December 1.
Astronomical seasons depend on how the Earth moves around the Sun. Equinoxes, when the Sun equally illuminates both hemispheres, mark the beginning of spring and autumn. Solstice, when the Earth is experiencing a severe tilt to or from the Sun, give rise to summer and winter.
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