Spring equinox 2024: What does it mean and when will the March equinox take place?

Spring is just around the corner – here is everything you need to know about the spring equinox including when it will occur this year.

Equinox and solstice are crucial segments of the astronomical calendar that dictate the shift between the seasons and are key parts of the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

In each year there are two equinoxes; in March we have the vernal or spring equinox and in September we have the autumn equinox.

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The word equinox derives from the Latin words ‘aequi’, which means equal, and ‘nox’, which means night.

Daffodils in bloom. (Pic credit: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)Daffodils in bloom. (Pic credit: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)
Daffodils in bloom. (Pic credit: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)

What is the spring equinox?

The spring equinox marks the beginning of spring and the day is longer than the night from this day onwards.

This is the equinox on the Earth when the subsolar point leaves the Southern Hemisphere and crosses the celestial equator and heads northward as seen from the Earth.

On the Gregorian calendar, the northward equinox can take place as early as March 19 or as late as March 21 at 0 degree longitude.

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In terms of astronomy, the March equinox is the zero point of sidereal time and is also celebrated in many cultures and religions.

When is the spring equinox 2024?

The sun will pass the celestial equator at 3.06am (UK time) on March 20, 2024.

From this day, the night will become shorter and the day will become longer.

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