Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Equinox

HAPPY EQUINOX! Today is officially the first day of fall for the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of spring for the Southern Hemisphere, and you know what that means. The leaves are changing, the cold/warm weather is moving in. Starbucks is bringing back their pumpkin spice latte (for the folks in America at least). I love the seasonal changes.

The day will be roughly 12 hours long followed by a roughly 12 hour night (very extreme latitudes excluded). The sun is setting on the North Pole for the first and last time this year, bringing a 6 month winter, and Antarctica is about to see the first rays of sunshine after their long winter. This change is all caused by the tilt of Earth's axis in relation to the Sun over the course of Earth's 365.25 day orbit.

The equinox is the day the Sun passes the Equator. For the fall equinox, the sun will continue to sink towards the horizon until the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and, in the Southern Hemisphere, it will continue to move higher into the sky until the Solstice (Southern Hemisphere fans, do y'all call this the summer or winter solstice?).

Does anyone have any special September equinox traditions? Personally, within the first few days of the fall equinox, I get a pumpkin spice latte and watch the annual post-equinox wind storm blow all of the leaves off the trees in Oregon.

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