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Spring’s first solar eclipse visible in the Canary Islands: date and prime viewing location

Spring begins early tomorrow morning and will extend for 92 days and 18 hours.

This spring season, which kicks off on Wednesday at 4:06 a.m. local time, will feature two significant celestial events: a solar and a lunar eclipse, stretching over 92 days and 18 hours until the summer solstice on 20 June. The Canary Islands will have the privilege of witnessing the solar eclipse.

The penumbral lunar eclipse is scheduled for 25 March and will be visible from the American continents. Meanwhile, a total solar eclipse is anticipated on 8 April, viewable from North and Central America as noted by the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN). In Spain, residents of the western Canary Islands and the far northwest of the mainland will experience a partial solar eclipse, albeit with low visibility.

As for celestial sights in spring, the season commences with Jupiter and Mercury gracing the post-sunset skies. However, Mercury will soon disappear from view in early April, while Jupiter remains observable until early May, leaving the evening spring sky devoid of planets by the season’s close.

During the early mornings of spring, Mars shines as the lone visible planet, with Saturn appearing at the horizon in early April, and Jupiter reemerging in June. The night sky initially showcases winter constellations like Orion, Can Major, and Gemini, which gradually give way to spring’s constellations such as Leo, Virgo, and the Buoy as the season progresses.

Spring's first solar eclipse visible in the Canary Islands: date and prime viewing location

The spring skies will also play host to the Lyrids meteor shower around 22 April and the Eta Aquarids meteor shower about 5 May. Full moons will occur on 25 March, 24 April, and 23 May.

Regarding the onset of spring, it is determined by the moment the Earth’s orbit aligns such that the Sun crosses the equator heading north, marking the vernal equinox. During this period, day and night lengths are nearly equal. Over the 21st century, spring may start on 19, 20, or 21 March, with the earliest start predicted in 2096 and the latest having occurred in 2003.

The season is characterized by rapidly increasing daylight hours, with the Sun rising earlier and setting later each day, leading to nearly three more minutes of sunlight daily at the season’s start.

Despite discussions by the European Parliament and European Commission on abolishing the time change, no definitive decision has been reached yet. Therefore, this year, the time will still change on the last Sunday of March, when clocks will move forward one hour – from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. mainland time, and from 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. in the Canary Islands.

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