vernal equinox

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Related to vernal equinox: autumnal equinox

vernal equinox

1. One of two points at which the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator. At the vernal equinox, the sun is moving along the ecliptic in a northeasterly direction.
2. The moment at which the sun passes through this point on or about March 21, marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

vernal equinox

1. (Physical Geography) the time at which the sun crosses the plane of the equator towards the relevant hemisphere, making day and night of equal length. It occurs about March 21 in the N hemisphere (Sept 23 in the S hemisphere)
2. (Astronomy) astronomy the point, lying in the constellation Pisces, at which the sun's ecliptic intersects the celestial equator
3. (Astronomy) the time at which this occurs as the sun travels south to north (March 21)


(ˈi kwəˌnɒks, ˈɛk wə-)

the time when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator, making night and day of approximately equal length all over the earth and occurring about March 21 (vernal equinox) and Sept. 22 (autumnal equinox).
[1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin equinoxium, for Latin aequinoctium=aequi- equi- + noct-, s. of nox night + -ium -ium1]

ver·nal equinox

The moment of the year when the sun crosses the celestial equator while moving from south to north. It occurs on March 20 or 21, marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Compare autumnal equinox.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.vernal equinox - March 21vernal equinox - March 21        
Mar, March - the month following February and preceding April
equinox - either of two times of the year when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator and day and night are of equal length
Noruz, Nowrooz, Nowruz - (Persian) the new year holiday in Iran and Azerbaijan and Afghanistan and Pakistan and parts of India and among the Kurds; comes at the vernal equinox
spring, springtime - the season of growth; "the emerging buds were a sure sign of spring"; "he will hold office until the spring of next year"
2.vernal equinox - (astronomy) the equinoctial point that lies in the constellation of Pisces
astronomy, uranology - the branch of physics that studies celestial bodies and the universe as a whole
equinoctial point, equinox - (astronomy) either of the two celestial points at which the celestial equator intersects the ecliptic
References in classic literature ?
Every fourth year, at the vernal equinox, there is a representative council of the whole nation, which meets in a plain about twenty miles from our house, and continues about five or six days.
The vernal equinox is also significant in Christianity because Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox.
In some Bengali iva temples at the vernal equinox a large crocodile is made of mud and a clay baby is placed near its mouth that has been daubed red with vermilion (cf.
The vernal equinox (which falls on March 21), marks the beginning of Spring.
This is the first full moon on or after March 21 - the ecclesiastic vernal equinox.
But the actual moment that the new year begins corresponds to the mathematical instant of the vernal equinox.
Spring: It's officially sprung, at least it will have by Wednesday, the vernal equinox Overworked celebrities: Both Justin Bieber and Kelly Osbourne have collapsed in recent weeks.
Nowruz, that coincides with the vernal equinox, is celebrated as the beginning of the new year by over 300 million people all around the world; if has been celebrated for over three millennia in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions.
Late last night, you may have felt more discouraged about some of your ideas, but today, you can rediscover the spark, due in part to the background energies of the Vernal equinox that have marked the new astrological year, but also because Uranus is urging you on.
It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed.
During the March equinox (also known as vernal equinox in reference to spring) and the September equinox (autumnal equinox) the length of nigh and day become equal.
In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible crescent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).