Sunrise Sunset

Fri., March 20 6:45 6:53

Sat., March 21 6:43 6:54

Sun., March 22 6:42 6:55

Mon., March 23 6:40 6:56

Tues., March 24 6:38 6:57

Wed., March 25 6:37 6:58

Thurs., March 26 6:35 7:00

Fri., March 27 6:33 7:01

Today is the first day of spring and it arrived precisely at 7:44 a.m. This is the moment when the noontime sun crosses from the Southern Hemisphere, across the Equator, and into our Northern Hemisphere. From here on our days will get longer than our nights. Day and night are about even, at 12 hours, though the actual moment of sunrise and sunset is not so exact.

The reason why the time isn’t precisely 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night today is tied to the Earth’s atmosphere. Were we living on a planet without an atmosphere, the first day of spring would be marked precisely by a day when the separation of sunrise and sunset were exactly 12 hours apart.

But today on Earth, the atmosphere, acting like a lens, brings the sun up above the horizon before it is physically up. At the end of the afternoon, the atmosphere holds onto the image of the sun and keeps it above the horizon even though it has set, making our day slightly longer than our night.

Crescent Moon and Planets

A thin crescent moon appears close to Jupiter Sunday morning. For those who rise early enough, the two are low in the southeastern sky in the light of dawn. Jupiter is the brightest star in the east and the moon is nearby. If you are up that early, you’ll see the ringed planet Saturn setting in the west.