Autumn also known as fall in US and Canada is one of the major four seasons and marks the transition from summer to winter. It starts in the last week of September and is marked by the early arrival of nights. The deciduous trees shed their leaves in the winter season and the nights start getting longer and the days shorter. It is a beautiful season and poets and authors alike have penned its beauty down. Autumn brings with itself the hope of winter.
The first day of Autumn is known as the Autumn Equinox. It falls on 22nd, 23rd, or 24th September every year. The Autumn Equinox was observed on 23rd September this year. The term ‘equinox’ is a Latin word; it means ‘equal night’. As the name suggests, every year on the Autumn equinox, the duration of the day and the night is almost equal and from that day, onwards the nights start getting longer, and by the time winter arrives, the nights become significantly longer than days.
What happens on Autumn Equinox?
On an Autumn Equinox, the sunrays fall directly at the equator and the day and night are almost equal in length. The earth’s axis is always tilted at an angle of 23 degree. Thus, the earth always faces either towards or away from the sun. However, on the day of the equinox, the sun is perpendicular to the earth and thus the rays of the sun fall directly on the equator.
Is there more than one equinox?
There are two equinoxes. One happens in September and is known as the Autumn Equinox and the other is known as the Spring equinox and falls in March. On both the Equinoxes, the sun shines directly on the equator and the day and night are almost equal in length.
What is the significance of the Autumn Equinox?
The Autumn Equinox or the first day of autumn marks the beginning of autumn, which is known as the harvesting season. Many holidays such as Thanksgiving and Halloween fall in Autumn and are thus calculated by the occurrence of the equinox. Autumn is a beautiful time of the year and has been the fancy of many poets like John Keats and Wordsworth. The changing color of the leaves, the cool breeze all make autumn a desirable season. Autumn brings with itself a relief from the scorching heat of the summer and hope of the cool winter.