THE four seasons which boast an array of beautiful environmental changes in their own right exist because of the Earth’s changing distance from the sun.
Equinox and solstice mark our transition through the different seasons. We give you the full lowdown.
SWNS:South West News Service Harpists Morwenna Louttit-Vermaat and Josie Felce welcome the rising of the midsummer solstice sun on June 21 last year
What’s the difference between an equinox and a solstice?
The equinox in the Northern hemisphere occurs twice a year around spring and autumn.
It is the time the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the centre of the sun’s disc.
The solstice marks summer and winter seasons.
It is the times when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon.
This marks the longest and shortest days.
Alamy Live News The foggy winter solstice pictured in Glasgow
The spring equinox usually takes place around March 20, marking the beginning of spring, when days are longer than nighttime.
The autumn equinox marks the start of autumn, as night becomes longer than the day. This usually takes place around September 22.
The solstice also occurs twice a year, but in the form of summer and winter.
Summer solstice occurs around the 21 June in the Northern Hemisphere, the longest day of the year.
During this time, the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, resulting in increased sunlight and warmer temperatures.
At the winter solstice, the sun will be at its lowest point.
When will the equinox and solstice take place in the UK in 2018?
The summer solstice will occur on June 21 at 11.07am.
The winter solstice will occur on December 21 at 10.23pm.
The autumn equinox will take place on September 23 at 2.54am.
The spring equinox will take place on March 20 at 4.15pm.
Does daylight affect your mood?
Dwindling daylight can have a serious impact on your health.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a condition experienced by those who experience normal mental health during the rest of the year but suffer depression during winter months.
Light exposure is shown to impact levels of melatonin – which regulates sleep, and serotonin – a hormone that could impact mood, appetite and sleep.
The right balance of sunlight can lift your mood – as well as help with Vitamin D levels, cancer prevention, and building strong bones.