Longer days, earlier sunrises ahead

MANILA-- Increasingly longer daytime and earlier sunrises will occur beginning this month in the Philippines and other Northern Hemisphere countries.

Such developments will follow the annual vernal or spring equinox that will occur on Monday (March 20) at 6:29 p.m. (Philippine Standard Time), said weather observer Rex Guerrero of the state weather bureau, PAGASA.

"The length of day and night will be nearly the same during the equinox and daytime in the Northern Hemisphere will begin lengthening while sunrises here will increasingly occur earlier," he said.

Guerrero said the equinox this March will have no effect on the country.

"Equinox is a normal astronomical occurrence," he said.

According to experts, the sun shines directly on the Earth's equator during an equinox so daytime and nighttime will be of almost the same duration.

The equator is the imaginary line dividing the Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, where the Philippines is, and the Southern Hemisphere.

Guerrero said the sun will "move" northwards through the Northern Hemisphere after this month's equinox, enabling countries there to increasingly experience longer daytime and earlier sunrises.

Northern Hemisphere daytime will continue increasing and reach its peak during the summer solstice this June, then begin shortening afterwards until again becoming of near-equal length as nighttime during the autumnal or fall equinox in September and reach its minimum duration during the winter solstice in December, he explained.

He said the cycle repeats afterwards as the Earth's tilt and motion in orbit cause the annual equinoxes and solstices.

The Southern Hemisphere meanwhile experiences the opposite of what happens to the Northern Hemisphere, he noted.

In the Southern Hemisphere, equinoxes in March and September are known as the autumnal and spring equinoxes while solstices there in June and December are called the winter and summer solstices, respectively.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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