The Ecliptic is the apparent yearly path of the Sun and the approximate path of the Moon and planets. The ecliptic is tilted at an angle of 23 1/2° degrees from the celestial equator and intersects the equator at two points called the "equinoxes" (see diagram). The Sun passes the equinoxes around March 21 and September 21. This year (2020), the Spring or "Vernal Equinox" occurred on March 19. This point in the sky is called the "First Point of Aries," but is now actually in the constellation of Pisces. The "Autumnal Equinox" will occur at 9:31 EDT (1331 UT, or "Universal Time") on September 22, 2020.
My hope is that these astronomical offerings will interest youth in STEM and participation in our local opportunities, such as ETHOS and MAS (Michiana Astronomical Society).
George Drake, M.D.
Burnham's Celestial Handbook, 1978 Dover Publications
Observers Handbook 2020 The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
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