First day of spring begins in Oman on 20 March


First day of spring astronomically begins in Oman tomorrow

Muscat: The Oman Astronomical Society reported that the phenomenon of the spring equinox for this year 2024 will occur tomorrow, Wednesday, March 20, 2024 and thus it will be the first day of the spring season astronomically.

Regarding this phenomenon, Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, Vice President of the Oman Astronomical Society, said: “Astronomical calculations indicate that the phenomenon of this year’s spring equinox will occur tomorrow at (07:06)MCT time. The sun will rise directly on the equator, just as the sun will rise tomorrow on Muscat Governorate at (06:11) AM, and it is in azimuth at (12:14) PM, and sets at (06:18) PM. On this day, day and night are almost equal in most countries of the world, as the length of the day will reach 12 hours, 7 minutes and 44 seconds in Muscat Governorate.

Al Mahrouqi stressed that each country has its own day in which night and day are equal depending on its location on the equator. As for the Sultanate of Oman, day and night were equal on March 14, when the sun rose at (06.16) Am and set at (06.16) PM, and the length of the day reached approximately 12 hour.

Vice President of the Astronomical Society pointed out that the vernal equinox usually occurs on either the 20th, 21st, or 22nd of March, because the year in our calendar does not exactly match the length of the tropical year, which is the average time it takes the Earth to complete its orbit around the sun. Therefore, the equinoxes and solstices are used to realign the calendar with the tropical year and advance a leap day (roughly) every four years so that the equinox and solstice dates move back to the previous date.

On this day, the sun is completely aligned with the equator, coming from its southern half, which includes Australia, half of Africa, and South America, to its northern half, which includes Europe, Asia, North America, the northern half of Africa, and the North Pole.

Day and night are completely equal on the day of the vernal equinox. This day marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of autumn in the southern hemisphere. The sun also rises on this day at exactly 90 degrees, which is important for those who want to accurately identify the point of east. On that day also, the sun sets completely at the true point of west, and therefore east and west can be determined accurately, and thus there are no shadows formed at noon in the areas through which the equator passes.

On this day, the sun rises for the first time in 6 months in the North Pole, starting a day that lasts 6 months, and the sun sets for the first time in 6 months in the South Pole, so a long dark night continues for 6 months in the South Pole, and with the first day of the spring equinox the days become longer. Gradually from night, the day gains increasing minutes for three months until the summer solstice. Spring is traditionally the planting season, as the ground warms, daylight hours lengthen, and crops grow more.

Al Mahrouqi explained that the phenomenon of the vernal equinox is one of four other annual astronomical phenomena that determine the beginning of the seasons throughout the year, which are the summer solstice, the autumnal equinox, and the winter solstice. At the spring and autumn equinoxes, day and night are equal. On the summer solstice, the day lengthens and the night shortens, and on the winter solstice, the night lengthens and the day shortens. These differences are due to two main factors: the sun’s inclination from the equator and geographical latitude.

It is worth noting that the phenomenon of the spring equinox is one of the four annual astronomical phenomena that occur at the beginning of the seasons, including the summer solstice, which will be scheduled for Friday, June 21, at (12:50) AM MCT time, so that spring will last 92 days, 17 hours, and 44 minutes.

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