Longer days to follow spring equinox


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Australia and New Zealand have made it through the depths of winter and will experience more daylight than darkness for the next six months.

The spring equinox occurs in Australia and New Zealand this weekend, marking the moment our sun appears to pass over Earth's equator after spending the last six months positioned above the northern hemisphere.

The apparent movement of the sun in our sky throughout the year is caused by the rotation of our planet and its tilt. Earth's rotation gives us days and nights and our tilt relative to the sun throughout the year produces our seasons.

Day and night are of roughly equal length around the world near the date of the equinox, because the sun is positioned above the equator. Following our spring equinox, days will stay longer than nights in the southern hemisphere until late March next year.

While some parts of the world bookend their seasons using the dates of the solstices and equinoxes, Australia and New Zealand uses whole calendar months to define each season. This method is more reflective of the actual temperature cycle experienced by most Australians and New Zealanders throughout the year.

*The equinox for New Zealand is at precisely 1:54pm on Sunday, September 23rd, 2018.

- Image / Monday night's beautiful sunset over Lake Taupo. View from Waipahihi Botanical Gardens. Uploaded directly to the WeatherWatch photo gallery by Amanda Fox

- Story by Ben Domeninso, Weatherzone.com.au (with additional by WeatherWatch)