The weather may not exactly be reflecting it, but today officially marks the first day of spring.
The Vernal Equinox takes places on March 20 this year, meaning you can wave goodbye to winter.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the Spring Equinox occurs when the sun moves north across the celestial equator.
To celebrate, we’ve rounded up some spring facts and figures for you to enjoy.
1. Vernal Equinox
While you probably know it as the ‘start of spring,’ today is also known as the Vernal Equinox.
The Vernal Equinox occurs when the sun moves north across the celestial equator.
During this time, there are exactly 12 hours of daylight, and 12 hours of darkness.
2. ‘Spring’ starts at different times
Depending on who you ask, Spring can start on different days.
Some believe that 20 March marks the start of Spring this year, and this is based on the astronomical calendar.
But others believe it Spring starts on 1 March, based on the meteorological calendar.
3. Average spring temperatures
According to the Met Office , the average UK temperature for spring is a not-so-balmy 7.7°C.
4. The hottest and coldest springs
The warmest spring on record was 2011, when the average temperature was 9.2°C.
Conversely, the spring of 1962 saw the average temperature drop to 5.8°C, making it the coldest spring on record.
5. People on the equator are in for a treat
People living on the equator will see the sun pass directly over their heads today!
This only happens twice a year – on the spring and autumn equinoxes.
This year, the spring equinox will coincide with another event – a supermoon.
The Moon orbits Earth in an ellipse – an oval that brings it closer to and farther from Earth as it goes around.
On average, the farthest point in this ellipse, called the apogee, is about 253,000 miles from Earth.
Conversely, the closest point in the ellipse, called the perigee, is about 226,000 miles from Earth.
When a full moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon, earning it the name of ‘supermoon.’
7. It’s not always been called spring
This season has been known as ‘spring’ since the 16th century.
But before it was called spring, the season was known as Lent or Lenten.
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