HomeNewsSpring Begins Today Editorial Team 03/20/2017 News 1255 A swan at the Töölö Bay is one of the first signs of spring in Helsinki. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today Astronomically speaking, spring begins today, after 12:29 in the afternoon. Vernal equinox literally means “equal night,” meaning that the night and day on the equinox are nearly the same length – about 12 hours each. Earth, which is tilted at an angle of around 23.4 degrees, orbits the sun in about 365 days. As Earth makes its yearly orbit, one hemisphere faces the sun more than the other – the side that has summer. The equinoxes mark the exact moment twice a year (autumn equinox in September marks the beginning of fall) when the Earth’s axis is not tilted toward or away from the Sun at all. But the axial tilt of around 23.4 degrees, remains the same. After the vernal equinox, the Northern Hemisphere starts to tilt toward the sun, which means longer and sunnier days. Sources: https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/equinox-not-equal.html, http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-is-the-vernal-equinox/, The University Almanac Join Us Join the Finland Today Community You get access to our membership content not found elsewhere on the web (e.g. in-depth articles, features, columns). We will send advance links to our in-depth articles before they are available for non-members (You decide, whether to share). And more! In addition, you could become a supporter of Independent work Non-partisan media organization Fact-checked, accurate news Contribute to the discussion Be the First to Comment! Notify of new follow-up comments new replies to my comments You must be logged in to post a comment. You must be logged in to post a comment.