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2016: Leap Day



Equinox Solstice Equinox Solstice

Date   Time

Date   Time Date   Time Date   Time
(UT) (UT) (UT)


d  h  m

d  h  m d  h  m

d  h  m

2016 3/20/2016 – 4:30 6/20/2016 -22:34 9/22/2016 -14:21 12/21/2016-10:44
2017 3/20/2016 – 10:29 6/21/2016 – 4:24 9/22/2016-20:02 12/21/2016-16:28
2018 3/20/2016  – 16:15 6/21/2016 – 10:07 9/23/2016 -1:54 12/21/2016-22:23
2019 3/20/2016  -21:58 6/21/2016 – 15:54 9/23/2016 – 7:50 12/22/2016 – 4:19

From the chart above, (from the US Naval Observatory), notice how the times of the equinoxes and the solstices occur later because the earth does not revolve around the sun in a whole number of days.  The approximate quarter of a day delays the start of the seasons each year.  To recapture this delay, a day is added to bring back the start of the seasons.  Over a long period of time, without corrections, the coldest time of the year would occur in July and the hottest in January.  In 2020 the date/time of the Vernal Equinox (March) is March 20, 3:50 UT keeping the start of the seasons occurring at the traditional time in the calendar year.

(The UT designation is for the time of the event at Greenwich Mean Time.  In the US, for Eastern Time, subtract 5 hours.)

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