The ultimate secret facts about Autumnal Equinox 2020 you never knew

Last updated on October 10th, 2020 at 07:53 pm

autumn-season-after-autumnal-equinox-2020Every year, Earth experiences two equinoxes – the Vernal Equinox and Autumnal Equinox. But, the meaning of equinox or, in other words, their relevance changes depending on the fact that in what hemisphere you live upon.

In this article, I will reveal The Ultimate Secrets Facts About Autumnal Equinox 2020 that you never knew. Are you ready?

 

Ultimate Secret Facts About Autumnal Equinox 2020

  • It’s September Equinox, Not Autumnal Equinox
  • Even Earth’s Tilt Stands Still
  • Equal Day And Night
  • September Equinox In Northern Hemisphere
  • September Equinox In Southern Hemisphere

 

It’s September Equinox, Not Autumnal Equinox

sun-rays-during-autumnal-equinox-or-spring-equinox
Illumination of Earth by the Sun on the day of an Autumn equinox/Credit: Wikimedia Commons

As I said, the earth experiences two equinoxes every year. One which occurs in the month of March is known as the March equinox. And, the one which is about to occur this month i.e September Equinox.

What is the equinox anyway? Well, an equinox occurs when the Sun appears to cross over the celestial equatorial line of the earth.

In fact, it occurs exactly at the time when the center of the sun crosses over this imaginary line. To put it another way, you can say that during Equinox, the sun switches side from the one hemisphere of the earth to the other.

Obviously, you would be thinking that why I said that its September equinox, not the autumnal equinox. The answer is quite simple.

See, if you are living in the northern hemisphere (so do I), then for us, September Equinox Is Autumnal Equinox Or Fall Equinox. Meaning, in our view, the sun will cross over the imaginary celestial line from the north to the south direction.

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Therefore, marking the end of the summers and the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere. In fact, you can see this by yourself. I mean, just follow the arc of the sun over the sky. You will notice that with each passing day the sun will be shifting toward the southward direction.

On the other hand, If you are living in the Southern hemisphere, then September Equinox Is Vernal Equinox Or Spring Equinox. Meaning, in your view, the sun will cross over the imaginary celestial line from the south to the north direction.

Therefore, marking the end of winters and the first day of spring in the southern hemisphere. To cross-check, just follow the arc of the sun over the sky. You will see that with each passing day the sun will be shifting toward the north direction.

 

Even Earth’s Tilt Stands Still

even-earths-tilt-stands-still-during-autumnal-equinox
Earth’s axial tilt (obliquity) is currently about 23.4°/Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Yup, You heard me right. Even Earth’s Tilt stands still during September Equinox. Because when the sun crosses over the celestial line, the earth’s tilt becomes perpendicular to the sunshine.

Not to mention, not only the earth’s tilt stands still during the September equinox, but also during the March equinox.

If you don’t know, our earth has an axial tilt of 23.4 degrees. In fact, just because of the earth’s tilt or obliquity, the hemisphere which is facing towards the sun experiences summer. Similarly, the hemisphere which is facing away from the sun experiences the harsh winter season.

That’s why when the northern hemisphere is having a summer season, at the same time, the southern hemisphere is having a winter season. Or Vice Versa.

 

Equal Day And Night

equinox-and-solstice-together-in-single-pic
Equinox does not have equal day and equal night/Credit: TimeAndDate.com

The next secret facts about autumnal Equinox is that we have equal day and night during equinoxes. Well, it doesn’t matter whether its fall equinox or spring equinox.

During Fall Equinox 2020, as the sun will cross over the imaginary celestial line, the earth’s tilt will become exactly perpendicular to the sun’s ray. Hence, Daylight and nighttime hours are equal.

In other words, we will have equal day and night i.e 12 hours. Don’t think, that the earth’s axial tilt will become Zero during September equinox. It just happens because of the sun’s passing over the Equatorial line.

In the light of equal day and night phenomena, I just want to clarify that it’s not exactly equal. It’s nearly equal to 12 hours.

Therefore, just for approximation, we simply say that during the vernal equinox and autumnal equinox, the length of day and night becomes equal.

In that case, if you need further clarification, you can check this article. I can assure you that the author has done quite a well job.

 

September Equinox In Northern Hemisphere

first-day-of-fall-in-northern-hemisphere
Autumn season in Indian Union Territory Of Jammu and Kashmir/Credit: The Statesman

As I said earlier, in the northern hemisphere, September equinox is practically known as the fall equinox or autumn equinox. Simply because it marks the first day of fall.

In fact, the full moon in September that occurred recently was also the last full moon of summer 2020. Therefore, the next full moon i.e on 2 October, will be the first full moon of autumn, of course, after the September equinox 2020.

 

Shorter Days Longer Nights

after-effects-of-autumnal-equinox
People in rural India using fire to protect themselves from cold waves which will gain speed after the arrival of Autumn Equinox/Credit: India TV News

There are two ways to practically observe the first day of Autumn. First, you can see the sudden change in the color of the leaves around yourself. I mean, the way your surrounding will become vibrant, it can’t go unnoticed.

Second, You can notice that the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. In other words, after Fall equinox 2020, as the sun will start to move southward, therefore, days will become shorter and shorter with each passing day.

That way you can say that during winter, the sun rises late and sets earlier. For the people of the northern hemisphere, this process of shorter days longer nights will go on until the arrival of the December solstice.

 

When Is The Autumnal Equinox 2020

When is the autumnal equinox 2020? Wait, to be more specific, let me rephrases myself. When is fall beginning anyway? Well, the official first day of fall will be on 22 September 2020.

In fact, every year, the first day of fall is on 22 September. On the other hand, if I talk about the occurrence time of September equinox 2020, the equinox will occur at the same moment throughout the world.

And for that, you already know the obvious reason. The earth’s tilt will become perpendicular to sunshine during the occurrence of autumnal equinox 2020.

 

September Equinox In Southern Hemisphere

first-day-of-spring-in-australia
This is how Australia i.e in the southern hemisphere will look alike after the occurrence of September equinox 2020, or in their view – after the occurrence of Spring Equinox 2020/Credit: TripSavvy

In the southern hemisphere, the September equinox is practically known as the spring equinox or vernal equinox. Simply because it marks the first day of Spring. 

Unlike the northern hemisphere, the recent full moon in September won’t be the last full moon of summers. On the contrary, for the people of the southern hemisphere, it was the last full moon of winter 2020.

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Therefore, for them, the next full moon in October 2020 will be the first full moon of spring, of course, after September equinox 2020, or in their point of view, Spring Equinox 2020.

 

Longer Days Shorter Night

hot-weather-in-australia-after-vernal-equinox
An Australian beach In January, A month which is considered as the coldest one in the northern hemisphere/Credit: Conde Nast Traveler

Again, there are two ways to practically observe the first day of Spring. First, you will feel that the weather starts to turn warmer, trees begin to grow their leaves, plants start to flower, etc.

Second, You can notice that the days are getting longer and the nights are getting shorter. In other words, after, Spring equinox 2020, as the sun will start to move northward, the days will become longer and longer with each passing day.

That way you can say that during summers, the sun rises earlier and sets later. For the people of the southern hemisphere, this process of longer days shorter nights will go on until the arrival of the December solstice.

As I said earlier, it doesn’t matter whether you are living in the northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere, the September Equinox 2020 will occur at the same moment throughout the world.

And, I am damn sure you know the exact reasons behind. On the contrary, if you still have some doubts or suggestions, feel free to enlighten me. I am all ears.

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About Atul Sinha

I am a mechanical engineer by profession. Just because of my love for fundamental physics, I switched my carrier, and therefore I just completed my postgraduate degree in physics. Right now I am a loner (as like ever) and a Physics blogger too. My sole future goal is to do a Ph.D. in theoretical physics, especially in the field of cosmology. Because in my view, every part of physics comes within the range of cosmology. And I love traveling, especially the Sole one.

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