Today, September 23rd, was the autumnal equinox at 4:21am EDT. As stated in our previous blog regarding the spring equinox, the word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night”. This suggests that during the equinox there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The autumnal equinox is the start of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, it also is the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. In turn, the spring equinox in the north (in March) is the first day of autumn south of the equator.
The only times the sun passes directly overhead is during the spring or autumnal equinox directly on the equator. These two equinoxes are also the only time the sun rises due east and sets due west. At this time, the Earth's axis points neither at, nor away from the Sun.
The autumnal equinox is not on the same day every year. It varies between September 22, 23, or 24 every year. From here on out the sun will rise later and nightfall will come sooner in the Northern Hemisphere.
So since autumn is officially here, get outside and enjoy the crisp weather, the beautiful scenery, and all things pumpkin!