Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunrise 06.11, Sunset 18.15

or not the equinox yet
So there I was, faffing around on my phone the other day, and looking in particular at the lengthening hours of daylight.  As I clicked through the days I saw that on the 18th March we have virtually a twelve hour day and a twelve hour night.  Now I had always thought that must be the equinox, but it is not.  I knew that the equinox was not always on the 21st, but the 18th seemed to early even so, I had to investigate further.

The 18th is an equilux - not an equinox. The equinox is a specific point in time and is not about the length of day and night as such, it is about the tilt of the earth and when the centre of Sun is on the same plane as the Earth's equator.  The vernal equinox is at 5.14am on the 20th March.  Confusingly equinox is derived from latin meaning equal night, but that is not what it means in terms of the scientific event.  Amazing how faffing around on the phone can lead to some much being learned.  Of course there will be many of you raising your eyes to the heavens saying 'well of course the equinox is not about day length but about tilt of the earth', but I was clearly not listening when we did that bit at school.  (in truth I was not listening for the majority of science lessons as school, sorry, just not my subject).

The good news is that the vernal equinox is when the season can be said to have turned and the lengthening of the days really picks up pace.  It also signals the closeness of the clocks going forward (Spring forward, Fall back).  I have mixed feelings about the clock going forward, for whilst I love having the extra light evenings, that loss of one hours sleep can be disruptive for me for quite a while.  Sometimes I feel like I just don't get the hang of the time change at all.   This is compensated by the joy though of being able to get home from work and get out in the garden for an hour or so.  This is just bliss and makes the disrupted sleep patten worthwhile.

So here's to the longer days, long may we enjoy them until the season turns again.

6 comments :

  1. I find that the more I garden the more I have become aware of the lengthing of the days and relish every little bit of daylight even if I'm not outside.

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  2. Thanks for the info, I was of the same opinion as yourself. Ah how the internet has made me appear more clever than I am, well a little bit, maybe.

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  3. Thanks for the comments, I have to admit I did feel so much more informed after finding out about what an equilux is

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  4. Good job you posted this - i've just given my daughter completely duff information and now need to correct it.

    I know what you mean about the time change. I'm just enjoying waking up to light mornings, now that will be set back for a while. Ho hum.

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  5. Light is such a beautiful thing.

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