Today, vernal equinox marks the first day of spring 2009

Spring started at 7:44 a.m. Eastern time today -- the vernal, or spring, equinox, National Geographic News reports.

"By the time the center of the sun passes over the Equator -- the official definition of equinox -- the day will be slightly longer than the night everywhere on Earth. The difference is a matter of geometry, atmosphere, and language," the article notes.

Want to celebrate outside Saturday or Sunday? Weekend highs are expected to be around 69 degrees.

Broadway will host SpringFest, the outdoor festival in downtown Columbus, April 25.

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