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On the spring equinox, the sun's rays hit the Earth squarely and day lasts as long as night. Przemyslaw Idzkiewicz/Courtesy graphic

Features

Explorit: Day and night in perfect balance

By Sara Thompson
Special to The Enterprise

The spring, or vernal, equinox marks the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. This year it was on Thursday, March 19, in North America, which is the earliest it has been since 1896. While we look forward to spring with the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are preparing for fall with the autumnal equinox.

Equinox is derived from Latin: aequus, which is “equal”; and nox, which is “night” — meaning “equal night.” At an equinox, spring or fall, the day and night are the closest to being equal in time than any other time of the year. Since the winter solstice in December, the days have been getting longer, and we will continue to get longer daytime hours until the summer solstice in June.

Because of non-perfect elliptical orbit of Earth around the sun, the day/night hours of an equinox are not perfectly equal, but it is the closest they will be until the fall equinox. Even though the hours are not perfect, the two equinoxes are the only time of the year that the sun will rise at due east and set at due west. At the equator, the sun would appear directly overhead at noon.

The spring equinox is the time we look forward to warmer weather and longer days. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Explorit will be closed to the public until at least March 31.

Our staff is working remotely and will be answering emails, please contact us at [email protected]365体育投注 with any questions. Check out some online science recourses at http://www.explorit.org/scienceonline.

Explorit’s coming events:

* Become a member of Explorit! Membership grants you free visits to Explorit’s regular public hours, discounts on events, camps, and workshops, and gives you ASTC benefits. For more information or to purchase or renew your membership visit or call Explorit at 530-756-0191.

* Summer Science Camp registration is open! Weeklong camps from 8:45 a.m. to noon for kids entering grades K-6, with one evening camp for grades 6-10. Prices are $125 members/$150 non-members. Registration available online at .

* Extended public hours: 1 to 5 p.m. every day during the week of April 6-10. Regular hours resume Saturday, April 11.

— Explorit Science Center is at 3141 Fifth St. For information, call 530-756-0191 or visit , or “like” the Facebook page at .

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