Difference Between Solstice And Equinox

We are sure that you have already heard both terms, quite common in literature and possessed. As well as vital in meteorology and geography, but it is normal that most people do not know what they are, much less their differences. Difference Between Solstice And Equinox

But first we will explain what each one consists of, as well as its main characteristics. In this way, their fundamental differences will be much better understood, which we will leave at the end of the post.

Equinox vs solstice: main differences

The equinox is when the sun’s rays reach the equator directly, while at solstices the sunlight only hits one of the poles (the highest point).
  • There is a spring and autumn equinox, while the solstices are summer and winter.
  • At the solstices the days and nights are longer. In contrast, the equinoxes have days and nights of equal duration.
  • The solstices have a greater cultural value and have been celebrated for thousands of years. The equinoxes on the other hand if it has great importance, but they are less known.

Next, we leave you an explanatory video about the differences between these two moments of the year.

What is the equinox?

Both refer to the position of the sun at a certain time of the year, in this case the equinox is when the sun is positioned on the equatorial line. So the days and nights have the same length (12 hours).

This would be the main difference with respect to the solstice, in addition to the fact that the equinoxes mark both the beginning of spring and autumn. In the northern hemisphere it occurs on March 20, while in the south it takes place on September 22.

In the same vein, it can be understood that solar rays directly impact the intertropical zone. Something that generates its equitable distribution to both hemispheres (north and south).

It is worth mentioning that the term “Equinox” comes from the Latin word aequinoctium , which means “equal night”. Being the line of Ecuador the cardinal point to understand this astronomical phenomenon with geological, meteorological and agronomic consequences.

What is the solstice?

Unlike the equinox, the solstices mark the beginning of both summer and winter and represent the highest point of altitude of the sun’s rays. In other words, it takes place when the sun’s rays are directed towards one of the two poles.

Depending on the solstice, the day or night will be longer, a classic example is the famous “white nights” in the city of Saint Petersburg, which occur on the summer solstice, where the days are longer and the sun “does not hides ”completely.

Otherwise in Alaska, which during the winter solstice has the longest nights, reaching up to months of days are sunlight. The solstices have been a religious and cultural symbol for centuries.

The summer solstice occurs on June 21 and the winter solstice on December 21, each civilization has created celebrations around both for thousands of years. The festivities of San Juan and the celebration of the spirit of Christmas were created for this reason.

Besides that this represents a cultural difference between the equinoxes and the solstices. Where the latter have come to have greater importance in the social and cultural development of peoples.

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