Difference between Equinox and Solstice

Main difference

The main difference between the equinox and the solstice is that the equinox is the longest and shortest nights during the year, while the solstice is the longest and shortest days during the summer and winter.

Equinox vs. Solstice

The term equinox is derived from the Latin word meaning equal night. The term solstice is also derived from two Latin words “sun” and “sistere” word “sol”, which means sun and “sistere”, which means to stand. The equinox is the point that is the closest distance from the equator. The solstice is the point of the Earth’s orbit around the sun and at a great distance from the equator. The equinox is related to the equal length of days and nights. The solstice is related to shorter days and longer days.

During the equinox, the earth’s rotation is perpendicular to the sun. During the summer solstice, the north poles of the earth are directed towards the sun, while at the winter solstice the north poles of the earth are directly away from the sun. The equinox occurs twice a year. The solstice also occurs twice a year, once in summer and once in winter. The equinox occurs in a specific period of time. The solstice occurs on many days during the season.

The equinox is about a specific period of time during the day and night. During the summer solstice, the sunlight is longer, but during the winter solstice, the sunlight is shorter. In the course of an equinox, the sun spends the same time in the equatorial plane, therefore it shows an equal duration of day and night. In the case of the solstice, the sun is far from the equatorial plane and changes the distance with respect to the plane and therefore shows the different length of the days. The equinox depends on the spring and fall season. The solstice depends on the summer and winter season.

Comparative chart
Equinox Solstice
The time of year when the sun is close to the equator is the equinox. The time of year when the sun is far from the equator is the solstice.
Refers to
Equal duration of day and night Long and short day
At the beginning of the spring and fall season During the start of the summer and winter season
Occur in
20 th and March 22 nd September 21 st June 22 nd December
Rotation of the Earth
Rotation perpendicular to the sun North poles with respect to the sun

What is the equinox?

During the equinox, the area of ​​the earth or the surface of the earth is observed to show the same duration of daylight and darkness that is 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness: equinox experiences in the spring and fall season . In the fall season, equinox begins around the 21 st September and notes that at the time, Equinox occurs in the northern hemisphere. However, in the spring equinox, which begins on 20 th or 21 st March and it appears in the southern hemisphere. This time or hemisphere can change from year to year.

The equinox is also said to be such a specific time of year when a specific part of the earth is very close to the sun and at the exact equator; everything from the north pole to the south pole when aligned gets the same amount of sunlight. The equinox of the exact dates of September and March can change about three days a year. In the Northern Hemisphere, during the spring equinox, day and night are the same length at the beginning of spring. At the autumnal equinox by day and by night, both have the same length in early fall.

The term equinox is derived from the Latin word “aequincotium”, which is a combination of two words “aequus” means equal and “nox” or “notics” means night; therefore, the equinox means equal nights. The equinox refers to the instant of time in which the plane of the earth and its equator pass directly through the central region of the sun.

What is the solstice?

The term solstice is derived from the Latin word “solstitium”, which means “to stop the sun.” During the solstice, the sun reverses and stops its direction, and at the point of the horizon, the sun appears to be rising. At the time of the solstice, the period of the sun does not appear in the sky for a longer period of time because it does not rise precisely rather than rise north of east and set north of west.

In each year, the solstice appears twice, once in summer and once in winter. During the solstice, the sun reaches the lowest or highest point in the sky at noon and exhibits the longest and shortest days of the year. The zenith of the sun is at its most extreme point on the equator during the solstice. On the June solstice, the zenith of the sun reaches the point of the northern hemisphere of the pole of the northern hemisphere of the earth and is directed towards the sun, making the angel of 23.4 .

Stations are being reserved in the respective hemisphere, so that’s why winter solstice exhibits the shortest day of the year, ie, 21 st December and the summer solstice exhibits the longest day of the year, ie, 21 st June. The term solstice is a broader term and is also used for the day it occurs. On the day of the solstice, when the hemisphere receives more sunlight, it is said to be the summer solstice; when the hemisphere receives the least amount of sunlight, it is said to be the winter solstice.

Key differences
  1. The equinox is a specific period during the day or night, while the solstice is related to sunlight during summer or winter.
  2. An equinox occurs in March and September; on the other hand, the solstice occurs in June and December.
  3. The equinox deals with the same length of day and night; conversely, the solstice deals with the length of the day.
  4. An equinox occurs for a specific time; on the other hand, the solstice that occurs throughout the day.
  5. The equinox is about the specific time period during the day or night, while the solstice is about the entire day.
  6. The equinox point is close to the equator, although the solstice point is the furthest from the equator.
  7. On an equinox, the earth shows a perpendicular rotation compared to the rotation of the earth’s north poles at the solstice.
  8. The equinox is for a shorter period compared to the solstice, which is for them all day.
  9. The equinox appears twice a year. However, the solstice appears once in summer and once in winter.
  10. The equinox appears in early fall and spring; on the other hand, the solstice appears throughout the summer and winter.

Final Thought

It is concluded that the equinox changes in the length of the day and night, and the solstice is the change in the length of the day.

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