Austin College welcomes Spring Equinox

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 6:25 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Today marks the Spring Equinox.

When the sun is at its highest point in the sky, you can see a beam of light strike the equinox marker through what’s called a Gnomon hole.

This small hole, and this equinox marker is apart of Austin College’s Solar Observatory.

Which is the only facility of its kind on a U.S college campus.

“The reason why today is so special is that almost there are equal number of hours during the day and equal number of hours at night. But really, equinox occurs when the sun is directly overhead the equator,” Austin College Physics Professor, Dr. David Baker said.

Baker said this event represents centuries of scientific knowledge.

“The solar observatories that were in existence before the telescope was invented were exactly this type to measure and mark the passage of the sun throughout the entire year,” Dr. baker explained.

Monday was cloudy, so the view wasn’t as spectacular as expected, but ‚on a clear day, you would see something like this.

Still, students reveled in the science and the joy of starting a new season.

“I think it’s important because acknowledging the history of our science and the way that science has come about is just as much the study of science as making the new discoveries and acknowledging that past allows us to continue to study it,” Austin College sophomore, Dee Dee Jansen said.

Other astronomy events are also held throughout the year at the solar observatory, and they are open to the public.

For more details about date and times, click here.