Happy Vernal Equinox 2012!

vernal, originally uploaded by Robert Couse-Baker.

Happy First Day of Spring, which arrives unusually early this year.
Via Flickr:
Unless you’re an astronomer, kayaker or farmer, you might have missed that it’s the spring equinox. The duration of day and night are roughly the same, the magic moment occurring worldwide on 0514 Universal Time, March 20, 2012 (That’s 9:14 p.m. March 19th, here on the Pacific coast). From here on out, the days will be longer and the nights shorter in the Northern Hemisphere -- at least until the Earth’s wobble peaks its annual cycle on the summer solstice, June 20. Seem early this year? It is. Due to the counterintuitive nature of the Earth’s orbital dynamics and wobble, this is really the earliest arrival of spring since 1896. Climate-change deniers and other wackadoodles take note: the early chronological spring it unrelated to global warming and the unseasonably warm winter, which is occurring because of atmospheric carbon pollution and other human activity. For you space and math nerds, here is more: