- Tuesday is the fall equinox, which means the entry for the fall and the shortening of the days.
- The equinox is one of the two days of the year where the northern and southern hemispheres receive the same amount of daylight.
- The equinox indicates that we are about halfway through the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
If you are not fully aware of the changing seasons, you have already noticed that the days are getting shorter. It absorbs. No, I do not want to hear about how you like winter and short days. This is not about you. This is about me and the earth, tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22, half the point of the shortest day of the year. It absorbs.
Well, let’s get capable for a second. Mars is one of the two days of the year in which the northern and southern hemispheres receive the same amount of daylight (either the autumn equinox or fall equinox or whatever you call the Chevy Equinox). Clean!
This is in contrast to the summer solstice and the winter solstice, in which the northern and southern hemispheres receive the longest and shortest days of the year, respectively. But why is this? Why not be on the same day all year round?
When you think of the earth orbiting the sun, you can imagine it sitting “straight” at 90 degrees to the plane of orbit with the earth’s poles. Not really. The axis of the earth is tilted about 23 degrees, which is why some parts of the earth receive more heat from the sun than others at certain times of the year. This is the whole reason we have seasons and as an added bonus, different days at different times of the year.
In winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the planet moves slightly away from the Sun with its North Pole. The opposite is true in summer, but in autumn and spring sunrises, the planet is positioned to allow both the northern and southern hemispheres to receive light and heat on the same day.
On Tuesday you will not notice anything special. It may seem like another day, but it marks our journey deeper into the colder months of the year (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), and for those of us who live there it is halfway through the darkest day of the year. It only happened if it seemed like a summer solstice – the longest day of the year – because it’s 2020, and nothing has happened the way it should.
Anyway, enjoy today because it is the last day of the year and it will have average sunshine. Starting tomorrow, it all goes downhill.