What is the difference between a solstice and an equinox?

The summer solstice will occur on June 21 at 11:14 p.m., spring comes to an end. Summer will last until September 22

Each season is marked by the moment in which the Earth is in a certain position with respect to the sun. Solstices and equinoxes occur twice a year. The solstice marks the beginning of summer and winter, while the equinox marks the arrival of spring and summer. But how is one different from the other?

The summer solstice occurs between June 20 and 22. For its part, the winter solstice will occur between December 21 and 23. In the case of the spring equinox, it takes place between March 19 and 21 and the autumn equinox between September 21 and 24. What is the difference between a solstice and an equinox?

The distance of the Earth’s axis of rotation from the Sun varies throughout the year. This allows us to differentiate the seasons of the year. The orbit of our planet is not circular, but elliptical.

It has two axes, one major and one minor. When the Earth coincides with the ends of the major axis, the solstices occur. The word solstice comes from the Latin ‘solstitium’ which means ‘still sun’. The summer solstice is the day with the shortest night of the year. The winter, the day with the longest night.

On the contrary, when it coincides with the ends of the minor axis, they are called equinoxes, a word with origins in the Latin ‘aequinoctium’ (equal night). The sun is positioned exactly over a point on the equatorial line.

Light and heat are distributed similarly in both hemispheres during the equinoxes. In this case, the nights last the same during the spring and autumn equinoxes.