Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Some days I like to walk home from work without my headphones. Usually it's days when I have a very full brain and I need to mull stuff over, but sometimes -- like today -- it's because I want to really notice my surroundings.

Today was the Spring equinox. It actually happened at 1:44am, when the sun crossed the celestial equator and moved into our northern sky. Ostensibly it's when the day and night are of equal length and the days start to get longer again -- but that actually happened on Friday (as far as we can perceive -- see my earlier post). Nevertheless, it's a significant event on the celestial calendar, and -- being one to observe solstices -- I wanted to recognise it tonight.

So I walked home with my headphones off and I listened to my surroundings and watched the day fade. Venus is prominent in the western sky, a bright diamond accompanied by the much fainter Mercury and Mars. Scorpius is high overhead, preparing to descend into its Summer slumber. It's making room for Orion, which rises as Scorpius sets at about 11pm tonight. And watching over everything is the ever-present crux -- the Southern Cross.

So now we can look forward to the long days of Summer.

In my fantasy novel, I've given the equinoxes names: Wintersmorn for the Autumn equinox and Summersdawn for the Spring equinox. And I have to say that as the weather warms and the evenings lengthen it really does feel as though Summer is just around the corner.

1 comment:

  1. I wish we were also experiencing the onset of spring, as autumn has well and truly taken hold here. The days are getting shorter and the leaves are falling. 6 more months before my next summersdawn - sigh.