The Autumnal Equinox is here, marking the first day of Fall
Summer has officially ended, and the autumnal equinox marks the transition into fall. For most people, fall means cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and apple picking, but many people don’t actually know what the equinox means.
September 22nd is the autumnal equinox, the time when the sun crosses the celestial equator. This is the imaginary line that corresponds to the earth’s equator. Between September 21st and 24th of each year, the sun will rise directly in the east and will set directly in the west.
Before and after the equinox the sun is not directly above the equator, it will set either to the north or south slightly.
With the arrival of the equinox, days in the Northern Hemisphere will become shorter which welcomes the arrival of the winter solstice in December. So despite what many think, fall’s arrival has more to do with the sun than with when pumpkin spice is released.
Equinox derives from the Latin meaning of “equal night.” On the day of the equinox, the entire planet supposedly will receive 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The weird part is that the 12 hour day and the 12 hour night won’t happen until the 25th of September, scientists call this the equilux.
Although astronomers consider the seasons by the sun, the weather community bases the seasons by when the meteorological seasons begin and they base their seasonal ideas on temperatures. So you don’t have to feel guilty about fall shopping in the beginning of September because technically it is fall to someone.
All that aside, we all now officially have a reason to wear scarves, go apple picking, eat and drink pumpkin flavored everything and enjoy possibly the best season there is.