canary islands

Spring arrives in the Canary Islands: time change and two eclipses

The spring in the Canary Islands has arrived with two eclipses, apart from a lyrid meteor shower.

In meteorology, the Earth’s spring season for the northern hemisphere and the autumn season for the southern hemisphere began on 1 March. However, the March equinox brings the astronomical seasons of spring and autumn, respectively, for the two hemispheres of our planet. This will happen this Monday, 20 March at 20.24 UTC. This season will last approximately 92 days and 18 hours, and will end on 21 June with the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and winter in the southern hemisphere.

The beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere is defined by the instant when the Earth passes the point in its orbit from which the centre of the Sun crosses the celestial equator in its apparent northward motion. On the day when this happens the length of day and night practically coincide. This is also called the vernal equinox.

As spring begins in the northern hemisphere, autumn begins in the southern hemisphere, according to the Spanish National Astronomical Observatory (Observatorio Astronómico Nacional de España).

Throughout the 21st century, the start of spring can occur on at most three different dates on the calendar (19, 20 and 21 March), with the earliest start in 2096 and the latest in 2003. The variations from year to year are due to the way the sequence of calendar years (some leap years, some not) fits with the length of each orbit of the Earth around the Sun.

Early spring is the time of year when day length length lengthens most rapidly. At peninsular latitudes, the sun rises more than a minute earlier in the morning than the previous day, and sets more than a minute later in the evening. As a result, in early spring, the moderate weather above the horizon increases by almost three minutes each day.


During the spring of 2023 there will be two eclipses, one solar and one lunar. The solar eclipse will occur on 20 April, will be of mixed type, and will be seen in Southeast Asia and Oceania. The lunar eclipse will occur on 5 May, will be of penumbral type, and will be visible in Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Other phenomena of astronomical interest during the spring of 2023 are the lyrid meteor showers, expected to peak around 23 April, and the eta aquariids, expected to peak around 6 May. The full moons of the season will occur on 6 April, 5 May and 4 June.


Although both the European Parliament and the Commission have spoken out in favour of eliminating time changes in the future, there is still no final decision on the matter. Therefore, the traditional time change on the last Sunday in March will remain in force for 2023. On that day, 26 March, the clocks will be put forward one hour to 3 a.m. at 2 a.m. peninsular time. In the Canary Islands, 1 a.m. will be changed to 2 a.m.

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