Egg balancing to mark spring equinox today

But astronomical spring arrives when the sun reaches a certain height over the equatoreach year. The vernal equinox is nearly here.

What is the Vernal Equinox? Positive declination is used for latitudes in the northern hemisphere, and negative declination for latitudes in the southern hemisphere.

In a world in which many of us are overextended and stressed, the fact that the planet is spinning around a tilted axis at over 1,000 miles per hour can be lost.

The first day of spring also marks the beginning of the 13-day celebration of the Persian New Year, known as Nowruz, or "New Day".

Those of you who remember Grade 5 geography class will know the spring equinox is the time when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of night and day are (hold on while we activate the caps lock feature on our keyboard) ALMOST EQUAL, hence the Latin-derived word "equinox", which means "equal night".

The March equinox can happen on the 19th, 20th or 21st, depending on whether it is a leap year.

Good news for those counting down the days until warmer weather - the 2017 spring equinox is now just days away, taking place at 10.28am GMT on March 20. On Friday, Sept. 22, at 4:02 p.m., the same thing will occur at a different spot along the equator to begin the fall season.

The ancient Chinese people divided the 15 days of the Spring Equinox into three "hou's" or five-day parts.

While the negative/positive description of the declination is Northern Hemisphere prejudice - the term declination describes the latitude where the sun appears to be directly overhead. Note that by this reckoning summer lasts 90 days (91 days in a leap year). This is typically what most folks celebrate as spring's arrival. But now the sun is headed our way in the Northern Hemisphere, so warmer days are ahead.

Day and night won't be exactly the same length. Plait, an American astronomer, skeptic, writer and popular science blogger, says the reason eggs can be balanced most likely has to do with tiny bumps on the shell that "act like little legs holding the egg up".

  • Larry Hoffman