Vernal Equinox

The spring equinox will occur at 19:20HST today.

Sunrise over Georgia Strait
Sunrise over Georgia Strait

The equinox is defined as the time at which the Sun passes through the plane of the Earth’s equator. Until the fall equinox occurs on Sep 22nd, the Sun will be located in the northern hemisphere with a positive declination coordinate.

Today the length of the day and night will be very near equal, thus the term equinox. the Sun will rise and set nearly exactly due east and due west.

Today is considered the start of spring for most cultures in the northern hemisphere, or the start of fall for those in the southern hemisphere.

2019 Apsides and Seasons
Event Universal TimeHawaii Standard Time
Perihelion Jan 0305:20UTJan 0219:20HST
Spring Equinox Mar 2021:58UTMar 2011:58HST
Summer SolsticeJun 2115:54UTJun 2105:54HST
Aphelion Jul 0422:11UTJul 0412:11HST
Fall Equinox Sep 2307:50UTSep 2221:50HST
Winter SolsticeDec 2204:19UTDec 2118:19HST
Data from US Naval Observatory Data Services

Perihelion

Earth’s perihelion will occur at 19:20HST today.

Sunrise over Georgia Strait
Sunrise over Georgia Strait

Perihelion occurs when the Earth reaches its closest distance to the Sun for the year.

It may seem odd to some the perihelion occurs in the middle of winter. One must recall that the distance from the Sun is not the cause of our seasons, that is the effects of axial tilt.

2019 Apsides and Seasons
Event Universal TimeHawaii Standard Time
Perihelion Jan 0305:20UTJan 0219:20HST
Spring Equinox Mar 2021:58UTMar 2011:58HST
Summer SolsticeJun 2115:54UTJun 2105:54HST
Aphelion Jul 0422:11UTJul 0412:11HST
Fall Equinox Sep 2307:50UTSep 2221:50HST
Winter SolsticeDec 2204:19UTDec 2118:19HST
Data from US Naval Observatory Data Services

Winter Solstice

Winter solstice occurs today at 16:28HST. Today the Sun will occupy the most southerly position in the sky of the year. The term solstice comes from the Latin terms Sol (the Sun) and sistere (to stand still). On this day the Sun seems to stand still as it stops moving southwards each day and begins move to the north. This is the first day of winter as marked by many cultures in the northern hemisphere. Alternately, this is the first day of summer for those folks in the southern hemisphere.

2017 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 4 14:18UT Jan 4 04:18HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 10:29UT Mar 20 00:29HST
Summer Solstice Jun 21 04:24UT Jun 20 18:24HST
Apehelion Jul 3 20:11UT Jul 3 10:11HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 20:02UT Sep 22 10:02HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 16:28UT Dec 21 06:28HST
Source: USNO data Services

 

Autumnal Equinox

Fall equinox occurs today at 10:02HST. Today there will be little difference between the length of the night compared to number of daylight hours. This is the first day of fall as marked by many cultures in the northern hemisphere.

2017 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 4 14:18UT Jan 4 04:18HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 10:29UT Mar 20 00:29HST
Summer Solstice Jun 21 04:24UT Jun 20 18:24HST
Apehelion Jul 3 20:11UT Jul 3 10:11HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 20:02UT Sep 22 10:02HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 16:28UT Dec 21 06:28HST
Source: USNO data Services

 

Apehelion

Today the Earth is furthest from the Sun, a point called apehelion. We will be about 152,096,000km (94,508,000miles) from the Sun. Compare this to the 147,099,000km (91,403,000miles) we were at perihelion on January 4th, a difference of about 4,996,000km (3,104,000miles) occurring throughout one orbit.

It may seem odd that we are actually at the furthest for the middle of northern summer, you just have to remember that proximity to the Sun is not the cause of the seasons. The seasons are caused by the axial tilt of the Earth, creating short and long days throughout the year, with a resulting change in the angle and intensity of the sunlight.

2017 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 4 14:18UT Jan 4 04:18HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 10:29UT Mar 20 00:29HST
Summer Solstice Jun 21 04:24UT Jun 20 18:24HST
Apehelion Jul 3 20:11UT Jul 3 10:11HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 20:02UT Sep 22 10:02HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 16:28UT Dec 21 06:28HST
Source: USNO data Services

 

Summer Solstice

Summer solstice occurs today at 18:24HST. Today the Sun will occupy the most northerly position in the sky of the year. The term solstice comes from the latin terms Sol (the Sun) and sistere (to stand still). On this day the Sun seems to stand still as it stops moving northwards each day and begins move to the south. This is the first day of summer as marked by many cultures in the northern hemisphere. Alternately this is the first day of winter for those living south of the equator.

This year many calendars will mark September 21st as the summer solstice, and so it is for much of the world. Here in Hawaiʻi the solstice actually occurs on the 20th when considering the time zone differences.

2017 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 4 14:18UT Jan 4 04:18HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 10:29UT Mar 20 00:29HST
Summer Solstice Jun 21 04:24UT Jun 20 18:24HST
Apehelion Jul 3 20:11UT Jul 3 10:11HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 20:02UT Sep 22 10:02HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 16:28UT Dec 21 06:28HST
Source: USNO data Services

 

Vernal Equinox

The vernal or spring equinox occurs today at 00:29HST. Today there will be little difference between the length of the night when counted against the number of daylight hours. This is the first day of spring as marked by many cultures in the northern hemisphere.

2017 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 4 14:18UT Jan 4 04:18HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 10:29UT Mar 20 00:29HST
Summer Solstice Jun 21 04:24UT Jun 20 18:24HST
Apehelion Jul 3 20:11UT Jul 3 10:11HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 20:02UT Sep 22 10:02HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 16:28UT Dec 21 06:28HST
Source: USNO data Services

 

Earth at Perihelion

Today the Earth is closest to the Sun, a point called perihelion. We will be about 147,099,000km (91,403,000miles) from the Sun. Compare this to the 152,096,000km (94,508,000miles) we will be at aphelion on July 3rd, a difference of about 4,996,000km (3,104,000miles) occurs throughout one orbit.

It may seem odd that we are actually at the closest for the middle of northern winter, you just have to remember that proximity to the Sun is not the cause of the seasons. The seasons are caused by the axial tilt of the Earth, creating short and long days throughout the year, with a resulting change in the angle and intensity of the sunlight.

2017 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 4 14:18UT Jan 4 04:18HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 10:29UT Mar 20 00:29HST
Summer Solstice Jun 21 04:24UT Jun 20 18:24HST
Apehelion Jul 3 20:11UT Jul 3 10:11HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 20:02UT Sep 22 10:02HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 16:28UT Dec 21 06:28HST
Source: USNO data Services

 

Winter Solstice

Winter solstice occurs today at 00:44HST. Today the Sun will occupy the most southerly position in the sky of the year. The term solstice comes from the Latin terms Sol (the Sun) and sistere (to stand still). On this day the Sun seems to stand still as it stops moving southwards each day and begins move to the north. This is the first day of winter as marked by many cultures in the northern hemisphere. Alternately, this is the first day of summer for those folks in the southern hemisphere.

2016 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 2 22:49UT Jan 2 12:49HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 04:30UT Mar 19 18:30HST
Summer Solstice Jun 20 22:34UT Jun 20 12:34HST
Apehelion Jul 4 16:24UT Jul 4 06:24HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 14:21UT Sep 22 04:21HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 10:44UT Dec 21 00:44HST
Source: USNO data Services

 

Autumnal Equinox

Fall equinox occurs today at 04:21HST. Today there will be little difference between the length of the night compared to number of daylight hours. This is the first day of fall as marked by many cultures in the northern hemisphere.

This year many calendars will mark September 23rd as the beginning of fall, and so it is for much of the world. Here in Hawaiʻi the equinox actually occurs on the 22nd when considering the time zone differences.

2016 Solstices and Equinoxes
  UT HST
Perihelion Jan 2 22:49UT Jan 2 12:49HST
Vernal Equinox Mar 20 04:30UT Mar 19 18:30HST
Summer Solstice Jun 20 22:34UT Jun 20 12:34HST
Apehelion Jul 4 16:24UT Jul 4 06:24HST
Autumnal Equinox Sep 22 14:21UT Sep 22 04:21HST
Winter Solstice Dec 21 10:44UT Dec 21 00:44HST
 
Source: USNO data Services