Earth simply acquired one other dazzling glamour shot, due to a satellite tv for pc that snapped its picture on the March 20 spring equinox. This picture reveals half of the planet illuminated in mild, and the opposite steeped in darkness, similar to a black-and-white cookie.
This lovely symmetry is not any shock for anybody who is aware of something in regards to the equinox. In Latin, equinox means “equal night time.” Twice a 12 months, in March and September, the equinox occurs when the quantity of daylight and darkness are almost equal in any respect latitudes, in line with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Why aren’t equinoxes extra frequent? The reply has to do with Earth’s tilt. As a result of the planet is tilted on its axis about 23.5 levels, daylight is often unequally distributed throughout the planet. Relying on the place Earth is in its orbit across the solar, both the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere could have longer days or nights. [Earth Pictures: Iconic Images of Earth from Space]
“Throughout two particular instances twice a 12 months, the lean is definitely perpendicular to the solar, which signifies that Earth is equally illuminated within the Northern and Southern hemispheres,” C. Alex Younger, affiliate director for science within the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard House Flight Middle, previously told Live Science.
In different phrases, the solar is immediately above the equator at midday throughout an equinox.
This previous week, the equinox occurred at 5:58 p.m. EDT on Wednesday (March 20), marking the primary astronomical day of spring for the Northern Hemisphere. The brand new picture, nevertheless, was taken a number of hours earlier than that, at eight a.m. EDT, by the GOES EAST satellite tv for pc.
Then GOES satellites, often known as the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite tv for pc system, are a community of Earth-observing satellites operated by NOAA. They collect data on climate forecasting, extreme storm monitoring and meteorology analysis.
Initially revealed on Live Science.