Today is officially the start of autumn and the beginning of longer nights and shorter days that will lead us into winter, summer is over and with that we hope the heat from what’s been a very hot year for all of us on the planet.
Meteorologists use the equinox which happens biannually to indicate the change in seasons. It happens when the sun passes directly over the Earth’s equator and creates a day and night that are the same length.
The foundation of the word equinox comes from the Latin “aequalis” and “nox,” meaning equal night. On the autumnal (and the spring) equinox, the day and night are both roughly even lengths at 12 hours long.
The equinox happens around the March 22 and around September 22 each year. In the southern hemisphere, the seasons are flipped and today’s equinox marks the start of longer days and shorter nights so if you’re a sun seeker it’s time to get down to Austrailia, Argentina, South Africa and other countries situated in the south.
During the summer time, the Northern Hemisphere tilts towards the sun giving us longer days as light falls on the surface facing it for longer.
In winter time this flips so that the Southern hemisphere gets the majority of the light.
Many people sue the end of the month as an indicator, so the 30th September is the end of Summer but the equinox seems to be more accurate.
Matthew Holman, an astrophysicist at Harvard University, said: “The equinox is defined as the time of an event. It’s really not when the day and the night are of equal length, although that’s what we think of – it’s really that moment is when the sun is on the equator at local noon.”
For most of the Northern Hemisphere warm weather is expected to stay with us for a bit longer even though we’ve moved into the Fall season, it’s not going to be as scorching as we’ve had it in recent months but it is, for the most part, going to be warmer than usual for this time of year.