THE VERNAL EQUINOX — also known as The March equinox – marks the beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere. The March 2023 equinox arrived yesterday, March 20 at 10:37 UTC or 5:37 a.m. Central Daylight Time.

On the dates of the equinox, the sun rises due east and sets due west as it crosses the celestial equator. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, start watching the sun this month, and watch every night as the sun sets just a bit farther north on the horizon each evening until the summer solstice.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox will bring earlier sunrises, later sunsets, softer winds, sprouting plants. Meanwhile, you’ll find the opposite season – later sunrises, earlier sunsets, chillier winds, dry and falling leaves – south of the equator.

The equinoxes and solstices are caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and ceaseless motion in orbit. You can think of an equinox as happening on the imaginary dome of our sky, or as an event that happens in Earth’s orbit around the sun.

Owing to the pandemic, and in the interests of public health, there was no Spring Equinox gathering at Stonehenge last year.  People wanting to watch the sunrise to mark the first day of spring were  told not to travel to Stonehenge. English Heritage maintains it cannot host the usual celebrations at the prehistoric monument due to safety concerns.