In the orbit of the earth around the sun, there are two points of interest — solstices and equinoxes — and the vernal equinox 2010 is almost here. The solstices are the points where the daylight (summer) or darkness (winter) is the longest, and the equinoxes are the points in between, at which the sun is exactly overhead at the Equator. The vernal equinox will last from March 20 to March 21, 2010, and the autumnal equinox will occur Sept. 23. If you’re that interested, maybe a small installment loan for a telescope would be in order. Oh, and it’s a Wiccan holiday too!
Vernal Equinox is midway between winter and summer
I know some of us disdain them that there scientif-am-acation, but you’re just going to have to bite the bullet and learn about the vernal equinox. You see, in space, an object (in this case the sun) with a larger mass, and therefore gravity, than other objects (the rest of our solar system, including the earth) causes the objects of lesser mass and gravity to orbit around them. In that orbit, there is an apogee (furthest point out – winter solstice) and a perigee (closest point in – summer solstice) to the object which a body orbits around, that being, of course, the sun.
The two middle points occur where the earth is not tilted toward or away from the sun, the day (at the equator) is exactly the same length of the night. (And look – you learned something without needing instant loans for college!) The vernal equinox is exactly in the middle between the winter solstice (December) and the summer solstice (June). The sun will be directly (and I mean directly) overhead at the equator.
Holidays around the Equinoxes
The equinoxes are also closely tied to a number of religious observances. Passover occurs on the first full moon after the vernal equinox, and Easter Sunday occurs the Sunday after the vernal equinox, this year occurring April 4 – so only a couple weeks to go until Lent is over and you can start abstaining from abstention. Wiccans and Neopagans celebrate it as Ostara (Old German for “Easter,” interestingly enough) and it also is the basis for the New Year in some Asian cultures.
The Vernal Equinox 2010 also World Citizen Day, World Storytelling Day, and for other people it’s this Saturday. It’s also the fourth day of March Madness, but for people who care about important sports, it’s the final day of the RBS Six Nations rugby tournament, with Scotland having secured the dubious honor of the Wooden Spoon (last place) and facing off against Ireland, Italy against Wales, and a showdown between England and France. The French are gunning for the grand slam, and the English are out to do something they love to do – rain on the French parade. Hopefully you enjoyed this little post about Vernal Equinox 2010 and maybe even learned a little.