Home > Ephemeris Program, Seasons > 03/18/2016 – Ephemeris – Spring comes this weekend!

03/18/2016 – Ephemeris – Spring comes this weekend!

March 18, 2016

Ephemeris for Friday, March 18th.  The Sun will rise at 7:48.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 4 minutes, setting at 7:53.   The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 5:48 tomorrow morning.

Sunday’s the day I’ve been waiting for.  Maybe you feel that way too.  Because at 12:31 a.m. EDT (4:31 a.m. UT) Sunday March 20th the season of spring will begin.  It’s not that we’ve had a hard winter.  As winters go this has been a mild one.  The Grand Traverse Bay never froze over.  My heating bill has been low.  Of course we have a chance for another snow storm or two before May gets here.  However at the top of the show notice we’re getting over 12 hours of sunlight even now.  The sun will reach its peak altitude of about 45 degrees at local noon.  Those at the Straits will have to wait only a few more days for he Sun to reach that altitude.  The Sun is rapidly moving northward, and the daylight hours are increasing by about 3 minutes a day.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


The Earth near the March Equinox

Getting close to the equinox. Earth image from NOAA DSCOVR satellite’s Epic camera in a halo orbit around the Earth-Sun Lagrangian point 1, a million miles Sunward of the Earth. Taken March 14, 2016.

Sun's path through the sky on the equinox

The Sun’s path through the sky from due east to due west on the equinox day from Traverse City, MI. Created using my LookingUp program.

Sunrise on the autumnal equinox

That’s not a pumpkin on the head of the motorcyclist. That’s the Sun rising as I’m traveling east on South Airport Road south of Traverse City Mi. on the autumnal equinox. This is the east-west section of the road. The Sun is rising over the hills some 6 miles to the east. Credit: Bob Moler.

Traverse City’s latitude is 1/3º south of 45º north latitude.  The Suns are plotted at 15 minute intervals.  Each day the Sun will rise higher and higher until the summer solstice when the Sun’s path in the sky looks like this:

The Sun's path on the summer solstice

The Sun’s path through the sky on the summer solstice day from Traverse City, MI. Created using my LookingUp program.

For those south of the equator, summer is ending and autumn is starting.

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