September 23 marked the first day where we officially left the Summer season behind and began the Autumn season, more commonly known as Fall. But, what some people probably don’t know is why. This year on September 22, at 20:44 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), or 4:44PM EST, the Autumn Equinox occurred, which means in nearly every part of the world daytime and nighttime were approximately the same length.
The Latin term for “Equinox” means “equal night”. Every year there are two equinoxes, one happens in March called the Spring Equinox, and the other that happens in September. Each time for that day only there is approximately 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of nighttime. The reason these two equinoxes happen is because on those two days alone, the Earth’s axis tilts neither away from nor towards the sun. Every other day of the year the axis has a slight tilt one way or the other making day or night longer than the other. The exact moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator is when these equinoxes occur. (timeanddate.com)
So what does all that technical jargon mean? Start expecting the sun to rise later and later every morning and set earlier and earlier every evening. For the northern hemisphere we changed seasons from summer to fall, and for the southern hemisphere it is changing from spring to summer.
Personally for me Fall is my favorite time of the year. So many different things are happening, football started, hunting season is right around the corner, the weather is comfortable, and the leaves will start changing soon. The time for camping or grilling out with family and friends is now, with late night bon fires and maybe even a smore or two.
Image Courtesy of WikiCommons