Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pic(k) of the Week: Happy Vernal Equinox!


I purchased this beautiful display of organic mushrooms, from Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms —of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania— today, during the final hours of winter, just before the Vernal Equinox, at the Falls Church City Farmers' Market.

I predict that, in those mushrooms' very near future, there will be some olive oil, onions, and garlic. And a Chimay Grande Reserve.


The vernal equinox —when winter becomes spring— occurred today at 1:32 PM US Eastern Daylight Time, when the sun was directly over the Earth's equator, that is, there was no tilt of the Earth's axis in regard to the sun. It is not true, however that today there will be equal amounts of day and night. It's close, but not quite.

Any why the 20th of March, not the 21st? explains:
While it's true that we've traditionally celebrated the beginning of spring on March 21, astronomers and calendar manufacturers alike now say that the spring season starts one day earlier, March 20, in all time zones in North America. Unheard of? Not if you look at the statistics. In fact, did you know that during the 20th Century, March 21 was actually the exception rather than the rule?

The vernal equinox landed on March 21, only 36 out of 100 years. And from 1981 to 2102, Americans will celebrate the first day of spring no later than March 20.

In the years 2008 and 2012, those living in Alaska, Hawaii and the Pacific, Mountain and Central time zones will see spring begin even earlier: on March 19. And in 2016, it will start on March 19 for the entire United States.

The reasons have to do with the inexactness of our calendar and that Earth's "elliptical orbit is changing its orientation relative to the Sun." The Catholic Church uses this day to date Easter. It's the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.


Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment here ...