Several parts of India have been witnessing heatwave in the last few days and the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an orange alert that the heatwave is likely to persist more than four days. A heatwave is considered when the maximum temperature is at least 40°C and between 4.5°C and 6.4°C higher than the normal or when the maximum temperature is over 45°C.

A message is being circulated widely on social media asking people to drink more water between May 22 to May 28, when an equinox is likely to occur.

The message claims "Drink more water for the next seven days (May 22-28) due to *EQUINOX*(Astronomical event where the Sun is directly above the Earth's equator). Resultantly, the body gets dehydrated very fast during this period. Please share this news to maximum groups. Thanks #MonthOfBlessings"



It claims an equinox, an astronomical event when the centre of the visible sun is directly over the Earth's equator is occurring this week. The viral message also claims people should drink more water during the period.

Fact Check:

The viral claim is FALSE.

When we searched for the viral claim, we found that this claim has been shared virally in 2017 and also 2018 debunked by smhoaxslayer.com and also india.com respectively.

https://smhoaxslayer.com/the-may-equinox-hoax/

According to the article published by india.com, Equinoxes occur when the Earth is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun. The word is derived from Latin: 'equi,' which comes from aequus, meaning equal, and nox-', meaning night. An equinox is a point in the year when day time and night time are exactly of the same length, 12 hours each

https://www.india.com/news/india/equinox-2018-fake-whatsapp-message-on-astronomical-event-being-circulated-widely-heres-the-truth-3065654/

Firstly, we should understand that equinox and solstice signal the changing of seasons on Earth. The equinoxes happen in March (about March 21) and September (about September 23). These are the days when the sun is exactly above the equator, which makes day and night of equal length.

The two solstices happen in June (20 or 21) and December (21 or 22). These are the days when the Sun's path in the sky is the farthest north or south from the Equator. A hemisphere's winter solstice is the shortest day of the year and its summer solstice the year's longest. In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solistice marks the start of summer.

https://www.britannica.com/story/whats-the-difference-between-a-solstice-and-an-equinox

March/ Vernal/ Spring Equinox in 2020 occurred on March 20, 2020.

https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-vernal-or-spring-equinox

Hence, the viral claim that the equinox is from May 22 -28 is FALSE. Spring Equinox has occurred on March 20, 2020.

Claim Review :   The viral claim that the equinox is from May 22 -28
Claimed By :  Social Media Users
Fact Check :  False

Satya Priya BN

Motivated professional with a zeal to learn, Sathya Priya has more than 5 years of experience as a Content and Digital manager in Press, Electronic and Digital media. She is Andhra Pradesh government accredited Multimedia Journalist. Ms Priya has worked for more than 4 years as Web and Digital media manager in Bhaarat Today, telugu TV channel. Along with news, she has experience in television program production. Demonstrated excellent management and leadership skills to lead the Digital Media staff. Worked collaboratively with staff, management and IT support. A science Post Graduate, with great computing skills, She is a fact checker certified by Google News Initiative. She has also completed Fundamentals of Digital Marketing Certification from Google.

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