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Autumn equinox: Why the first day of autumn is not what you think

(CNN) – Twice a year, the sun doesn’t play its favorite game. Everyone on Earth seems to have equal status – at least in terms of the amount of light and darkness they receive.

We have entered the second and final equinox of 2022. If you reside in the Northern Hemisphere, you know it is fecal collection (or fecal collection). For those south of the equator, this equinox really heralds the coming of spring.

Your location on the globe also determines whether you mark this day this year as Thursday, September 22, or Friday, September 23. People in the Americas will celebrate this day on Thursday; The difference in time zones means that people in Africa, Europe and Asia will mark it on their Friday.

People who are really close to the equator have about 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night throughout the year, so they won’t really notice a thing. But hardliners living near the poles, in places like Alaska and northern parts of Canada and Scandinavia, undergo wild transformations in day/night ratios each year. They have long, dark winters and then summers in which the night barely penetrates.

But in split time, everyone from pole to pole enjoys a 12-hour split between day and night. Well, there’s only one rub – it’s not quite as “equal” as you might think.

There is a good (SCIENTIFIC!) explanation for why you don’t understand correct 12 hours of daylight at the equinox. More on that further.

But first, here are the answers to your other poop burning questions:

Where does the word ‘feces’ come from?

Our word File CNN Fast Facts: The term equinox is derived from the Latin word equinoxium, which means “equality between day and night.”

When exactly does the dropping point occur?

The setting sun is seen looking West on Randolph Street in Chicago just days before the fall 2019 spot.

The setting sun is seen looking West on Randolph Street in Chicago just days before the fall 2019 spot.

Image of Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune / Getty

For those in places like Toronto and Washington, DC, it’s 9:03 p.m. local time. It arrives at 8:03 p.m. in Mexico City and Chicago. Out West in San Diego and Vancouver, which means it arrives at 6:03pm

But head the other way across the Atlantic, and the change of time will put you on Friday. For residents of Madrid, Berlin and Cairo, it arrives at 3:03 am on Friday. Going further east, Dubai marks the exact event at 5:03am

For the people of Bangkok, it is 8:03 am while Tokyo clocks at 10:03 am. You can Click here to see more cities (rounded down to one minute and adjusted for Daylight Saving Time).

Is the autumn equinox the official first day of autumn?

Right. Autumn officially begins in the autumn period.

But there are actually two measures of the seasons: “astronomical seasons” (which track the occurrence of equinoxes and poisons) and what are known as equinoxes. “meteorological seasons.”

Allison Chinchar, CNN meteorologist, explains the difference:

“Astronomical fall is basically the period from the equinox to the winter solstice. Those dates can vary by a day or two each year,” she said.

“Meteorological fall is different … in that the dates never change and are based on the climatic seasons rather than the angle of the Earth relative to the sun. These are probably the seasons with which many people are more familiar. “, Chinchar said.

Fall foliage can arrive early in high-altitude places like Kenosha Pass, Colorado.  This photo was taken on September 19, 2016, at night with a long exposure, illuminated by moonlight and the headlights of passing cars.

Fall foliage can arrive early in high-altitude places like Kenosha Pass, Colorado. This photo was taken on September 19, 2016, at night with a long exposure, illuminated by moonlight and the headlights of passing cars.

RJ Sangosti / Denver Post / Getty Images

The meteorological seasons are defined as follows: From March 1 to May 31 is spring; June 1 to August 31 is summer; September 1 to November 30 is autumn; and December 1st to February 28th is winter.

“This makes some dates complicated,” says Chinchar. “For example, December 10th, most people would consider winter, but if you’re using an astronomical calendar, it’s technically still considered autumn because it’s before the winter solstice.”

She says that “meteorologists and climatologists prefer to use ‘meteorological calendars’ because not only do the dates remain unchanged – which makes them easier to remember – but also because it is more in line with what people think about the weather.” traditional season.”

Why does equinox occur in the first place?

Sunrise trying to break through fog near the town of Glastonbury in south-west England in autumn 2021.

Sunrise trying to break through fog near the town of Glastonbury in south-west England in autumn 2021.

Matt Cardy / Getty Images

The Earth rotates along an imaginary line running from the North Pole to the South Pole. It’s called the shaft, and this rotation is what gives us day and night.

However, the axis is tilted 23.5 degrees, as NASA explains. That causes one hemisphere of the planet to receive more sunlight than the other during half of the year’s orbit around the sun. This difference in sunlight is what causes the seasons.

The effect is maximal at the end of June and at the end of December. Those are the only spots, and they have the greatest difference between day and night, especially near the poles. (That’s why it lights up so long every day during the summer in places like Scandinavia and Alaska.)

But since the summer solstice three months ago in June, you’ve noticed that our days are getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere and the nights longer. And now we are at the equinox!

What did our ancestors know about all this?

Long before the age of clocks, satellites, and modern technology, Ancient ancestors knew a lot about the movement of the sun in the sky – enough to build massive monuments and temples that, among other purposes, acted as giant calendars to mark the seasons of the year.

Here are just a few locations related to equinoxes and annual solar transit time:

Megalithic Temple in Malta: These seven Mediterranean island temples are among the earliest freestanding stone structures in the world, dating from 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. In Hagar Qim and Mnajdra In temples, semicircular cavities aligned so that the sun rises above the equinox are framed between the stones.
Chichen Itza

Mexico’s Chichen Itza is sacred during spring and autumn.

Getty Images / zxvisua

Chichén Itzá (Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico): El Castillo, the famous pyramid at Chichén Itzá, has an impressive display of equinoxes. Built by the Toltec-Mayans between 1050 and 1300, the pyramid was built to shade during division on the northern balustrade of El Castillo. It looks like the shape of a snake slithering down the stairs, and the ancient special effect is enhanced by the beasts’ heads sculpted in the legs.
Jantar Mantar (New Delhi, India): Of much more recent origin (1724 and 1730), these buildings from the late Mughal period were astronomical observatories.

Are some festivals, myths and rituals still with us?

Around the world, the autumn equinox has crept into our cultures and traditions.

In Greek mythology, the autumn equinox marks the return of Goddess Persephone to the underworld for three months, where she is reunited with her husband, Hades.
Chinese and Vietnamese still celebrate the harvest moon festival (also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival). Lanterns line the streets as people give thanks, watch the moon and eat. Round cakes, also known as moon cakes, are a favorite dish of many people during the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month according to the Chinese calendar. In 2022, it falls on september 10.

The UK’s favorite harvest festivals have their roots in the autumn equinox since pagan times.

Rikugien, Tokyo autumn leaves

Rikugien Garden in Tokyo is brilliant in autumn colors. The autumn equinox is a national holiday in Japan.

courtesy Berlin Kimon

Are Auroras really more active at equinoxes?

Yes – they usually host more shows this time of year.

It turns out that the autumn and spring equinoxes (or spring equinoxes) often coincide with peak aurora activity.

So why aren’t the equinoxes exactly equal?

Turns out you actually get a bit more daylight than darkness on the equinox, depending on where you are on the planet. How did that happen? The answer is a bit complicated but fascinating.

Like US National Weather Service explainedThe number of hours of day and night is “nearly equal” because of the complicated way to measure sunrise and the refraction of sunlight in our atmosphere.
The evening sun shines through the autumn-colored foliage above the chestnut trees on the banks of the Landwehrkanal in Berlin's Kreuzberg district.

The evening sun shines through the autumn-colored foliage above the chestnut trees on the banks of the Landwehrkanal in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district.

Stefan Jaitner / dpa / picture-Alliance / AP

The bending of these rays causes the sun to appear above the horizon when the sun’s actual position is below the horizon. Days are slightly longer at higher latitudes at the equator because the sun rises longer and sets closer to the poles.

So, on the equinox, the length of the day will vary slightly depending on your location. Here are some breakdowns to give you an approximate idea:

• At or near the equator: Approximately 12 hours 6 minutes (Quito, Ecuador; Nairobi, Kenya; and Singapore)

• At or near 30 degrees north latitude: Approximately 12 hours and 8 minutes (New Orleans, Louisiana; Cairo, Egypt; and Shanghai, China)

• At or near 60 degrees north latitude: Approximately 12 hours 16 minutes (Helsinki, Finland and Anchorage, Alaska)

For a truly equal day/night division, you have to wait until days or even weeks after the official equinox. That day was called evennessand when it happens depends on your latitude.

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