The first day of Spring and a Solar Eclipse in the UK
It's one of those rare days today, 20th March 2015, where several celestial events occur. Not only is it the spring equinox, the first day of spring, the date when the hours of day and night are the same, but there is a solar eclipse and a supermoon too.
Our All about Spring feature for primary age children explains the spring equinox and why it happens. It is written at two reading difficulty levels especially for 5 - 7 year olds or 7 - 11 year olds.
Also since the spring equinox is a celestial event it can happen on different days. We have factored in this in so that our feature automatically updates each year to give you the correct date. As well as the astronomical details we also explain physical characteristics of the spring season such as plant growth, animal babies, weather and more.
The solar eclipse is happening over Europe and is best viewed with a home made pinhole camera facing away from the sun. Skygazers should not look directly at the sun even with dark sunglasses as this can lead to blindness. A good reference tool for finding out about solar eclipses is DKfindout! which has an excellent interactive diagram.
The third celestial event happening today is the supermoon which is the term given to the times when the moon orbits at its closest point to the Earth. Let us hope for a clear night so we can see the moon looking bigger than it usually does.