The 2018 vernal equinox took place on Tuesday, March 20. The 2018 autumnal equinox will fall on Saturday, September 22.
Equinoxes occur when the Sun is exactly above a planet’s equator. This causes the planet’s terminator, or dividing line between daytime and nighttime areas, to pass through the planet’s north and south poles.
Such an angle causes every area of the planet to experience the same amount of sunshine and darkness for one day twice a year.
The biannual phenomena are called the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. Along with a planet’s two annual solstices, the equinoxes mark the change in seasons.
In the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, for example, the vernal equinox cues the beginning of spring around March 21 and the autumnal equinox indicates the beginning of fall around September 23. These seasonal cues are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere.