Spring Just Has to Come Sometime

Yes, that’s correct. Soon it will be officially Spring.

At 01.48 EDT, the sun will appear to be directly above the equator, heralding the start of Spring in the northern hemisphere of our little planet. Astronomers like to call it the “Vernal Equinox.” At this time we have (for the most part) equal parts day and night, as the sun rises due east and sets due west in the evening (both of these times causes headaches for those persons driving on east-west roads).

The sun is slowly climbing in our sky, bringing with it the promise of warmer weather, the growing season, and more daylight, culminating in the summer solstice in June.

This is “astronomical spring” as opposed to “meteorological spring” which started on march 1st. While the weather people tend to think of the seasons as it pertains to the calendar, and weather averages over time, astronomers choose something less arbitrary: the position of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun.

Now to dispel a rumor that has been going around for years – that on the Vernal Equinox it is the only time you can stand an egg on end. That’s incorrect. You can do this any day of the year, and at any time of day (the author once stood 15 eggs on end in the middle of August, because he had nothing better to do, and also to debunk this rumor).

But instead of going into detail about why this egg-standing rumor is false, I am going to point you to Dr. Phil Plait, who owns the badastronomy.com website. He has an excellent page about the egg myth, and just recently posted a video on how to do it.

Standing an egg on end on the Spring Equinox

How to stand an egg on end

Once you’ve figured out the secret, tell your friends. And after you have perused the rest of Dr. Plait’s site, come back here for some more information later on about this month’s full moon, and why Easter is so early this year.

Have an eggs-citing first day of Spring!

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