Spring arrives on Friday, and you might want to make the most of it. The season of flowers and showers actually gets shorter every year by about 30 seconds to a minute, due to astronomical quirks, researchers say. This year, spring officially starts at 6:45 p.m.
This year, spring officially starts at 6:45 p.m. EDT on March 20, according to the U.S. National Weather Service (NSW). At that exact moment, which is called the vernal equinox, the Earth’s axis will reach a halfway mark, where it points neither toward the sun (as it does on the summer solstice) nor away from the sun (as it does on the winter solstice), said Gavin Schmidt, the director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.
But for thousands of years, spring has been losing time in the Northern Hemisphere. This year, summer is the longest season, with 93.65 days, followed by spring with 92.76 days, autumn with 89.84 days and winter with 88.99 days, said Larry Gerstman, an amateur astronomer in New York. (Gerstman got his values from “The Astronomical Tables for the Sun, Moon and Planets,” second edition, written by Jean Meeus and published in 1995 by Willmann-Bell, Inc.)
As the years go on, spring will lose time to summer, and winter will lose time to autumn. In the year 3000, the seasonal lengths will have shifted in the Northern Hemisphere: summer will be 93.92 days, while spring will be 91.97 days, autumn 90.61 days and winter 88.74 days, Gerstman said. Spring gets about 30 seconds shorter every year