Environment & Science

Spring is here: How to watch the equinox in LA

The four changes of the seasons, related to the position of sunlight on the planet, are captured in this view from Earth orbit.
The four changes of the seasons, related to the position of sunlight on the planet, are captured in this view from Earth orbit.
NASAEarthObservatory (via YouTube)

Though wildflowers and bugs have already been blooming and buzzing away in abundance — not to mention the extra hours of sunshine — today is actually the official first day of spring. 

The Spring equinox marks one of two times during the year when the sun crosses the celestial equator and when day and night are of equal length.

The Summer equinox happens in September. Both events mark when the Earth's equator aligns perfectly with the Sun. Here's a visual breakdown: 

https://www.youtu.be/kaG6PTVrFP4

If you want to experience this event firsthand and you happen to be in or near Los Angeles, head to the Griffith Observatory. Typically closed Mondays, the grounds around the building are open for Angelenos who want to usher in the season the right way. Astronomers will be on hand to help skywatchers observe the celestial event — for free.

The first event happens when most people are at work or school — at noon, when the sun moves from east to west. Thankfully, you can catch the second observance at sunset, according to the observatory's Ed Krupp. 

Anybody interested can gather on the lower west terrance, where they have lines inscribed in the pavement to indicate the direction of the equinox sunset, Krupp told KPCC.