Autumnal Equinox

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It is officially fall across Northeast Kansas! The autumnal equinox happened this past Sunday at 3:44p. The word “equinox” is derived from a Latin word that means “equal night.” And, rightfully so. This time of the year, days and nights are just about the same in length, but nights become progressively longer until the winter solstice – December 21.

Here’s another way to look at the start of fall: The exact moment when the Sun moves across the imaginary line (celestial equator) between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This means that it’s spring in places like Australia! The following graphic should help illustrate this.

sun_year

The autumnal equinox usually occurs on September 22nd or 23rd. But, in 1931, the it occurred on September 24. This happened because the Gregorian calendar actually doesn’t match up perfectly with the position of Earth in its orbit around the Sun. The autumnal equinox will not happen on September 24 again, until 2303.

- Kansas First News Storm Track Meteorologist, Kyle Borchert

 

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