Vernal Equinox Day 2017 is on Monday, March 20, 2017: What is the Vernal Equinox?

Monday, March 20, 2017 is Vernal Equinox Day 2017.

What is the Vernal Equinox?

Vernal--from the Latin word for Spring (verna)

Equinox--from Latin words meaning equal night, i.e. day and night are each 12 hours long.

This occurs around March 21 each year, and is otherwise called the First Day of Spring. As a consequence of the Earth's titl on its axis, the Sun is directly overhead south of the equator (up to 23.5 S) from late September until the vernal equinox. It is directly straight overhead on the equator at the vernal equinox, and is overhead for points north of the equator (up to 23.5 N) from then until September.

The time when it is furthest north (23.5 N), around June 20, is the start of Summer, called the Summer Solistice (more Latin).

Vernal & Autumnal Equinox?

Vernal & Autumnal Equinox?

Vernal equinox - north pole starts to tilt toward the Sun.

Autumnal equinox - north pole starts to tilt away from the Sun.

But at this point, it would probably be 'neither' since the equinox is when we have equal night and day.

The south pole is always opposite on this from the north pole, just as the seasons are opposite in the north and south hemispheres.

Earth day is tomorrow!!! ANyone have some fatcs on the history of earth day or ways we can go

Earth day is tomorrow!!! ANyone have some fatcs on the history of earth day or ways we can go green/save earth

The equinoctial Earth Day is celebrated on the vernal equinox to mark the precise moment that spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. On equinox, night and day are in equal length anywhere on Earth. Therefore, a perfectly vertical pole standing on the equator at noon during equinox will not cast a shadow. At the South Pole, the sun sets and ends a six-month-long day while at the North Pole, the sun rises and hence ending six months of continuous darkness.

The United Nations marks Earth Day each year on the vernal equinox (around 21 March). On February 26, 1971, UN Secretary-General U Thant signed a proclamation to that effect. At the moment of the equinox, it is traditional to observe the day by ringing the Japanese Peace Bell, a bell donated by Japan to the United Nations.[2] The United Nations also works with organizers of the April 22nd global event.

John McConnell first introduced the idea of a global holiday called Earth Day at a UNESCO Conference on the Environment in 1969, the same year that he designed the Earth flag. The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto on March 21, 1970. U Thant supported John McConnell’s global initiative to celebrate this annual spring equinox event. Secretary General Waldheim observed Earth Day with similar ceremonies in 1972. The United Nations Earth Day ceremony continued each year on the day of the March equinox (20th or 21st), with the ringing of the U.N. Peace Bell at the very moment of the equinox.

The current President of the Earth Society foundation is Thomas C. Dowd

The April 22 Earth Day

Responding to wide spread environmental degradation, United States Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin called for an Environmental Teach-in or Earth Day to be held on April 22, 1970. Over 20 million people participated and it is now observed each year by more than 500 million people and national governments in 175 countries. Senator Gaylord Nelson, an environmental activist in the U.S. Senate, took a leading role in organizing the celebration, to demonstrate popular political support for an environmental agenda. He modeled it on the highly effective Vietnam War protests of the time.[3] Senator Nelson selected Denis Hayes (a Harvard student and Stanford graduate) as the National Coordinator of activities. The nationwide event included opposition to the Vietnam War on the agenda. Pete Seeger was a keynote speaker and performer at the event held in Washington DC. Paul Newman and Ali McGraw attended the event held in New York City.[4]

According to Santa Barbara Community Environmental Council:

"The story goes that Earth Day was conceived by Senator Gaylord Nelson after a trip he took to Santa Barbara right after that horrific oil spill off our coast in 1969. He was so outraged by what he saw that he went back to Washington and passed a bill designating April 22 as a national day to celebrate the earth."[5]

Senator Nelson stated that Earth Day "worked" because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. 20 million demonstrators and thousands of schools and local communities participated.[6]

Earth Day proved extremely popular in the United States and around the world. The first Earth Day, in 1970, had participants and celebrants in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States. More importantly, it "brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform."[7]

Senator Nelson directly credited the first Earth Day with persuading U.S. politicians that environmental legislation had a substantial, lasting constituency. Many important laws were passed by the Congress in the wake of the 1970 Earth Day, including the Clean Air Act, laws to protect drinking water, wild lands and the ocean.

Now observed in 175 countries, and coordinated by the non-profit Earth Day Network, www.earthday.org, Earth Day is the largest secular modern-day holiday in the world

How to Celebrate Earth Day

The celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd began in the United States in 1970 and was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson, who had long pondered about finding a way to "put the environment into the political 'limelight' once and for all" (his words). There are actually two Earth Day celebrations (the other one is held in March on the equinox, see "Tips") but this article focuses on the April 22 Earth Day, which is now celebrated in most countries of the world. Earth Day is a perfect time to reflect about what you are doing to help protect the environment. There are many ways that you can celebrate alone and with others.

Steps

Plant trees. As the date also roughly coincides with US Arbor Day, over time Earth Day has taken on the role of tree-planting. Planting trees helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, clean pollution, secure soil in place to prevent erosion, and provide homes for a lot of biodiversity.

Make nature crafts at school or home. Get together with your family and build a birdhouse or make a birdfeeder to encourage the local bird population, which plays an important role in every ecosystem. Use objects that would've otherwise been thrown away to create beautiful works of art...Here, the possibilities are endless:

Turn used guitar strings into a centerpiece,

make a basket from an old orange juice carton,

convert an old floppy disk into a Starship Enterprise,

or wear a skirt made out of old umbrellas

Learn more about the environment. Earth Day is a good time to make a commitment to learning more about the environment and how you can help to protect it. Borrow some library books and read up on an issue such as pollution, endangered species, water shortages, recycling, and climate change. Or, learn about a region you've never considered before, like the Arctic, the deserts, or the rainforests. Think about the issues that concern you the most and if you haven't done so already, join a local group that undertakes activities to help protect the environment in your area.

Reduce, reuse and recycle all day long. Buy as little as possible and avoid items that come in lots of packaging. Support local growers and producers of food and products - these don't have to travel as far and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Take your drink container with you, and don't use any disposable plates or cutlery. Recycle all the things you do use for the day or find other uses for things that you no longer use. Carry a cloth bag for carrying things in and recycle your plastic bags.

Get children to recycle their old toys and games. By giving their old toys and games to younger children who could make use of them, older children learn two lessons: One is about giving to others and the second is about reusing and recycling instead of throwing things away. Adults can also do this with clothes, electrical items, books and more. Learn about product exchange communities like Freecycle and other alternatives.

Rid Litter Rid litter from our roadways. Many groups use the weekend of Earth Day to clear roadways, highways and neightborhood streets of litter that has accumulated since the last 'Rid Litter'. Many companies donate gloves and bags for the group. Villages organize the Rid Litter bag pick up. Once the group has collected the trash and placed the recyled bags along the road; the village publio works department picks the bags up. It's a wonderful community project. Great for scout troops, rotary clubs and the like.

Sing or listen to "Earth" songs. There are many Earth Day song lyrics available on the internet. Many follow well-known tunes. These make a fantastic classroom activity and help younger children to become interested in environmental topics. For listening, even iTunes has songs about the Earth for downloading: try searching for words such as "planet", "Earth", "endangered", "pollution" etc.

Children's environmental art on displayHold an Earth Day fair. Maybe your school, your street, your local neighborhood is interested in getting together to have an environmental fair. Things to have at the fair include demonstrations of environmentally-friendly products, children's artwork, healthy/locally grown foods to eat, animal care demonstrations (including wildlife rescue), games for the children made of recycled products, musicians and actors performing environmental music and skits, stalls which are recycling unwanted treasures & books, local environmental organisations presenting their issues and wares. Money raised can go towards a local environmental restoration project or to an environmental group agreed upon by all the participants running the fair.

Earth Day presentationTeach others about the environment. Teachers, professionals, students, in fact anyone who cares about the environment and is willing to teach others, can all provide environmental lessons for others. Most schools already celebrate Earth Day in the classrooms with activities but there are many other ways you can teach about the environment. For example, give a speech at your local library on how to compost with worms; take a group of children down to the recycling center to show them how things are recycled; recite nature poems in the park; offer to teach your office colleagues how to make environmentally-friendly choices at work during one lunch hour. Everyone has environmental knowledge they can share with others.

Wear green and/or brown. Dress in environmental colors for the day; think "tree"! Wear badges if you have them that carry pithy summaries of your environmental views.

Engage others in conversations about your environmental concerns. Don't be bossy or pushy, just tell people some facts and then explain your feelings about them. Encourage them to respond and if they have no opinions or they seem to not know much, help them learn some more by imparting your environmental knowledge in a friendly and helpful manner.

Cook a special Earth Day meal. Plan a menu that uses locally produced foods, is healthy and has minimal impact on the environment. Favour vegetable and bean products, as these use less resources to grow than mass-farmed meat. If you still would like meat, look for locally produced, organic meat. Try and have organic food completely. Decorate the table with recycled decorations made by you and your friends.

Consider buying a carbon offset to make up for the greenhouse gas emissions you create on the other 364 days of the year. Carbon offsets fund reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through projects such as wind farms, that displaces energy from fossil fuels.

Remember: Every day is Earth Day. Anything to help our environment is a perfect thing to do on Earth Day and every day. Don't restrict yourself to just one day a year; learn about how you can make a difference to environmental protection all the time. And put it into practice - every day!

Tips

The other Earth Day is celebrated usually on March 21, which is the equinox for spring in the Northern Hemisphere and for autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. This Earth Day is supported by the United Nations and the Japanese Peace Bell is rung at the New York United Nations to remind everyone of our place in the human family on our precious planet Earth. See International Earth Day Official Site for further information.

Simple things, such as asking young children to use less paper to dry their hands or asking work colleagues to turn the lights off when they leave the office at night are great "small starters" to encourage bigger changes. You don't need to feel that you haven't time to contribute; every little changed habit that benefits the environment adds up and you are setting a good example to others.

Use the internet for many more ideas. Earth Day is celebrated in many different ways. A really good way to find more information is to surf the internet and look at what other people have done. There is so much there that it cannot be replicated here!

Warnings

Cleaning up after the thoughtless messy onesCleaning up part of your local area can be a great way to celebrate Earth Day, but make sure all participants are properly attired or outfitted. Gloves are an absolute must and if you are collecting litter, sticks with prongs for picking it up are useful. Warn participants to be careful of sticking their fingers into dark places where biting animals might reside and to be careful of syringes and other dangerous items.

Also on this date Monday, March 20, 2017...