“Of autumn’s wine, now drink your fill; the frost’s on the pumpkin, and snow’s on the hill.” ~The Old Farmer’s Almanac
This year, the autumnal equinox falls on September 22, 2016 at 10:21 A.M. EDT. This equinox occurs when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south.
- You often hear that days and nights are equal on the equinox. Except they’re not: There’s more minutes of sunshine than non-sun that day. That’s because the thick air near the horizon bends the sun’s image upward and gives each of us about six extra minutes of undeserved daily sunlight.
- But those other equinox rumors are true. The sun really does rise and set precisely due east and due west that day. So it’s a good time to see how your home is aligned with the cardinal points of the compass. Or, to position your sundial, that task you’ve been postponing for so long.
- Also, equinoxes are the only time when everyone on Earth, even those at each of the poles, see the sun shining. It’s a happy feel-good kind of thing even if it officially closes out our beloved summer season.
Learn more about the autumnal equinox here.