The First Day of Spring
Have you ever wondered why there are seasons? Do you know why the weather goes from cold in one part of the year to hot in another part? The reason is actually quite simple. The earth revolves around the sun, and the earth’s axis is actually tilted so that sometimes, it’s closer to the sun, and sometimes it’s farther away.
Some of you may already know about the four seasons, namely, spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each season is special, but you will probably remember summer the best because it’s all sunny and lots of fun. After summer, comes fall and then, winter. When spring comes around, it means that another summer is arriving soon. This is why it’s important to know about spring as well as all the other seasons.
The first day of spring depends on the vernal equinox. This refers to the time of year that the hours of light and the hours of dark in a day are exactly the same. However, it usually occurs around March 20. Around this time, the weather starts to warm up. Sometimes, it rains instead of snows. On the other side of the world, it starts getting colder.
Why? On the other side of the world, things are flipped! Since the earth is tilted towards the sun, when it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the top part of the earth is closest to the sun, so it gets warmer. That also means that the bottom part, the Northern hemisphere, is tiled away from the sun, meaning it’s colder. This is why when it’s summer in the US, it’s the winter in Australia. If you have friends in Australia, you will see that the timing of their seasons is rather different from yours!
The vernal equinox occurs when the earth’s axis is kind of “right in the middle” which is not tilted towards or away from the sun. The vernal equinox occurs around March 20th and the autumnal equinox occurs around September 22nd.
Then, there are also summer and winter solstices. The summer solstice occurs when the Earth is tilted towards the sun at the most extreme angle possibly. This usually occurs around June 21st. Conversely, the winter solstice occurs when the Earth is tilted as far away as possible, which occurs around December 20th.
These happenings also bring about the phenomenon known as Daylight Savings Time. When spring comes, people turn their clocks forward an hour. This is because the hours of daylight increase and the body’s rhythm becomes thrown off, so changing clocks makes it easier for your body to settle into a normal rhythm after the seasons change. In autumn, the clocks are turned backwards an hour because there is less daylight as well.