Autumnal Equinox Facts

Autumnal Equinox Facts
The autumnal equinox is the moment that the sun crosses the equator from north to south, in September each year. It is reversed in the vernal equinox which happens in March. The equinox is the only time when the edge between day and night runs perpendicular to the equator, equally illuminating both the southern hemisphere and northern hemisphere. The name equinox is derived from Latin words meaning 'equal' and 'night'. Just like the solstices, the equinoxes are related to the seasons each year. The autumnal equinox marks the beginning of autumn in many places around the world, in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere this marks the beginning of spring.
Interesting Autumnal Equinox Facts:
The autumnal equinox marks the change of seasons from summer to fall in the northern hemisphere and the change of winter to spring in the southern hemisphere.
When the autumnal equinox is occurring in the northern hemisphere those in the southern hemisphere refer to it as the vernal equinox.
The autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere marks the time when the sunrise occurs later and the night begins to fall earlier each evening. Plants begin to die or go dormant for the winter and animals begin to hibernate.
Following the autumnal equinox those in the northern hemisphere begin to experience the sun's rays less directly, resulting in colder temperatures. In the southern hemisphere they experience the opposite. This is because the earth rotates on an axis with a tilt of 23.4 degrees.
People would not experience seasons if the earth did not rotate on a tilted axis. The temperatures would remain the same and the length of day and night wouldn't change. There would be no seasons.
Just like the vernal equinox, the autumnal equinox has been recognized for thousands of years, with its own rituals and traditions developed in various cultures.
In the northern hemisphere the autumnal equinox occurs on September 22nd, 23rd, or 24th each year. This marks the vernal equinox for those in the southern hemisphere.
During the equinoxes day and night are equally all around the world. The equinox occurs at the same time regardless of where someone is located.
While the equinox is occurring the earth is not tilted toward or away from the sun like it is the rest of the year.
Autumnal equinox and fall equinox are often referred to as having the same meaning. The same can be said for spring equinox and vernal equinox.
The days get shorter following the autumnal equinox. They continue to shorten until December's winter solstice. Winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, and then they start to become a little longer.
In astrology the autumnal equinox marks the time when the sun enters the sign of Libra. Libra is the sign of balances scales.
The full moon that falls near the autumnal equinox is referred to as the harvest Moon. It is so bright that farmers are able to work much later traditionally.
The autumnal equinox is celebrated in China with a bounty of food, in a festival known as the Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival.


Related Links:
Facts
Earth Systems Facts
Animals Facts








Educational Videos