You might have already missed the sunrise Friday, the first day of autumn, but it’s not too late to catch the sunset. Here are a few fun facts about this year’s autumn equinox.
- One of the hallmarks of both the spring and fall equinoxes are sunrises that occur at exactly due-east and sunsets at due-west all over the globe.
Basically, that’s because an equinox occurs when the sun crosses the celestial equator and that happens no matter where you are on Earth except if you are at one of the poles, according to EarthSky.org.
- The word “equinox” comes from the Latin words “equi,” meaning equal, and “nox” meaning night. Although this implies that day and night will be of equal length, it’s not exactly true. But it’s pretty close.
- Our days will continue to get shorter and our nights longer until Winter Solstice, and we will really start to notice it.
- Treehugger.com points out that it’s an opportunity to enjoy “the knowledge that while so much in this world is in flux, the sun is constant and will return to its perfect east and west on the days of equinox.”
- The Harvest Moon — named after the bright light it reflects, allowing farmers another long day of work — is always the full moon that’s closest to the fall equinox. This year, that occurs on Oct. 5, according to NASA.
And finally, here’s an amusing tweet: