This week brings the official start of fall, a farewell to warmer weather in the Northern Hemisphere to make way for fall foliage and all things pumpkin, hay bales, cozy sweaters, hot cocoa, apple cider, bonfires, and the list goes on.
The autumnal equinox of 2022, also known as the September equinox or fall equinox, arrives on Thursday, Sept. 22, according to my trusty Farmer's Almanac.
This date marks the start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere — and the equinox occurs at the same moment worldwide. How amazing is Creation?
The autumn equinox officially arrives at 9:04 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
During the equinox — which occurs twice per year — the sun crosses what’s known as the "celestial equator," or an extension of Earth’s equator line into space, the Farmer’s Almanac explains.
The autumnal equinox happens when the sun crosses the equator from north to south. The vernal equinox, or the start of spring, happens when it moves from south to north.
The full moon that happens nearest to the fall equinox is known as the Harvest Moon. This year’s Harvest Moon has already peaked in the early morning hours on Saturday, Sept. 10.
Unlike other full moons, the Harvest Moon rises around sunset for several evenings in a row, "giving farmers several extra evenings of moonlight and allowing them to finish their harvests before the frosts of fall arrive," per the Farmer's Almanac.
The word "equinox" comes from the Latin word aequus, which means "equal," and nox, which means "night," according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
On the equinox, day and night are roughly equal in length.
As this part of the world moves into fall, temperatures won't be the only thing changing. The transition also marks the start of the changing of the leaves.
The annual fall foliage is highly contingent on the location and, in some areas, can start as early as late September and peak in either October or November.
For ancient societies, the autumnal equinox marked the end of summer and the vernal (or spring) equinox marked the end of winter, which helped people track time-sensitive activity, such as when to plant crops. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, the changing colors of the leaves on deciduous trees is actually triggered by the shorter days with reduced amounts of daylight.
FALL IS MY FAVORITE, BRING ON ALL THINGS FALL!