Travel

The 2022 Equinox: Not as “Equal” as You Thought


(CNN) — Twice a year, the sun is not the favorite. Everyone on Earth seems to be on equal footing – at least when it comes to the amount of light and darkness they get.

We have entered the final equinox for the second time in 2022. If you live in the northern hemisphere, you autumn equinox (or fall equinox)For people south of the equator, this equinox actually marks the arrival of spring.

Your location on Earth also determines whether the current year falls on Thursday, September 22nd or Friday, September 23rd. People in the Americas celebrate on Thursday. The time zone difference means that people in Africa, Europe and Asia mark it on Friday.

If you’re really close to the equator, you’ll have about 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of nighttime all year round, so it doesn’t matter too much. However, hardy people near the Arctic, such as Alaska, northern Canada, and Scandinavia, experience large fluctuations in the day/night ratio from year to year. We have long, dark winters and summers when the nights are scarce.

But during the equinoxes, everyone from pole to pole can enjoy the 12-hour division of day and night. I have only one problem. As you can imagine, they are not exactly “equal”.

There is a good explanation as to why you don’t get it (SCIENCE!). accurately The vernal equinox day is 12 hours. More on that below.

But first, here are the answers to other Burning Equinox questions:

Where did the word “vernal equinox” come from?

from us CNN Quick Fact File: The term equinox comes from the Latin equinoxium, meaning “equality of day and night”.

When exactly is the autumnal equinox?

A few days before the 2019 autumnal equinox, you can watch the sun set in the west over Randolph Street in Chicago.

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/Getty Images

In areas such as Toronto and Washington DC, it is 9:03 PM local time. Arrive in Mexico City and Chicago at 8:03 PM.Means exit west of San Diego and Vancouver and arrive at 6:03pm

But if you go in the opposite direction across the Atlantic, it will be Friday due to the time change. Residents of Madrid, Berlin and Cairo will receive it on Friday at 3:03 am.Further east, Dubai marks the exact event at 5:03 am

Residents of Bangkok see it at 8:03 am, while Tokyo sees it at 10:03 am. Click here to see other cities (Rounded down to the nearest minute, adjusted for daylight saving time).

Is the autumnal equinox the official first autumn day?

yes. Autumn officially begins at the autumnal equinox.

However, there are actually two scales for seasons. “astronomical seasons” (following the arrival of the vernal and summer solstice) and “Weather season”.

CNN Meteorologist Alison Chincher explains the difference:

“Astronomical fall is basically the period from the equinox to the winter solstice. These dates can shift by a day or two each year,” she says.

“Meteorological autumn is different…the date does not change and is based on the climatological seasons rather than the angle of the earth to the sun. These are probably the seasons more people are familiar with.” ” says Chincher.

At higher elevations, such as Kenosha Pass, Colorado, fall foliage can occur earlier. This photo of him was taken on the night of September 19, 2016 in a long exposure lit by moonlight and the headlights of passing cars.

At higher elevations, such as Kenosha Pass, Colorado, fall foliage can occur earlier. This photo of him was taken on the night of September 19, 2016 in a long exposure lit by moonlight and the headlights of passing cars.

RJ San Gosti/Denver Post/Getty Images

A weather season is defined as: Spring is from March 1st to May 31st. Summer is from June 1st to August 31st. Autumn is from September 1st to November 30th. Winter is from December 1st to February 28th.

“This makes some dates difficult,” Chincher says. “For example, December 10th is considered winter by most people, but if you’re using an astronomical calendar, it’s technically before the winter solstice, so it’s considered autumn.”

“Meteorologists and climatologists like to use ‘weather calendars’ because they are easier to remember because the dates don’t change, and because they are closer to what people think of as traditional seasons,” she said. ‘ she said.

Why does the autumnal equinox occur in the first place?

On the autumnal equinox of 2021, the rising sun is about to break through the fog near the town of Glastonbury in southwest England.

On the autumnal equinox of 2021, the rising sun is about to break through the fog near the town of Glastonbury in southwest England.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

The Earth rotates along an imaginary line connecting the North and South Poles. It is called the axis and this rotation gives us day and night.

However, the axis is tilted by 23.5 degrees, As NASA explainsThis causes one hemisphere of the planet to receive more sunlight than the other during half of its yearly orbit around the Sun. This shift in sunlight is the beginning of the season.

The effect is maximum from the end of June to the end of December. These are the solstices, where the difference between day and night is greatest, especially near the poles. (So ​​in places like Scandinavia and Alaska, it stays bright for a long time every day during the summer.)

But have you noticed that the days are getting shorter and the nights longer in the northern hemisphere since the summer solstice in June three months ago? And now we are at the autumnal equinox!

What did our ancestors know about all this?

Long before the age of clocks, satellites and the latest technology, we our ancient ancestors knew a lot About the movement of the sun across the sky – enough to build huge monuments and temples, and served, among other purposes, as a giant calendar to mark the seasons.

Here are just a few of the locations associated with the vernal equinox and the annual transit of the sun.

malta megalithic temple: These seven temples on a Mediterranean island are some of the earliest free-standing stone buildings in the world, dating back 5,000 to 6,000 years.and Hagar Kim and Mnajdra At the temple, semi-circular chambers line up and the sun rising on the spring equinox is framed between the stones.
Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, Mexico, is a sacred site during the spring and autumn equinoxes.

Getty Images/zxvisua

Chichen Itza (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico): Chichen Itza’s famous pyramid, El Castillo, puts on an impressive show at the vernal equinox.built by the Toltec Maya people between 1050 and 1300, the pyramid was built to cast a shadow on El Castillo’s northern railing during the vernal equinox. It looks like a snake sliding down the stairs, and the ancient special effect is enhanced by the carved beast head at the base.
Jantar Mantar (New Delhi, India): More recent in origin (1724 and 1730), these buildings of the late Mughal Empire are astronomical observatories.

What festivals, myths and rituals still remain with us?

All over the world, the autumnal equinox is woven into our cultures and traditions.

In Greek mythology, the equinox signifies the Second Coming. goddess persephone Reunited with her husband Hades during her three months in the underworld.
Chinese and Vietnamese We still celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival (also known as Mid-Autumn Festival). The streets are lined with lanterns, and people give thanks, look at the moon, and eat. Round pastries called moon cakes are a Mid-Autumn Festival favorite. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. In 2022, it fell on september 10th.

England’s beloved harvest festival has its roots in the autumnal equinox from pagan times.

Autumn leaves in Rikugien, Tokyo

Rikugien Garden in Tokyo is ablaze with autumn colors. Autumn Equinox Day is a national holiday in Japan.

Courtesy Kimon Berlin

Are Aurora Borealis Really Active at the Equinox?

Yes, they have many shows at this time of year.

We know that the autumnal and vernal equinoxes (or vernal equinoxes) usually coincide with peak aurora activity.

So why aren’t the equinoxes exactly equal?

Depending on where you are on Earth, you may find that the equinox is actually a little brighter than dark. how does that happen? The answer is a little complicated, but fascinating.

if The National Weather Service explainsthe “nearly” equal hours of day and night are due to the complex method of measuring sunrise and the refraction of sunlight in the atmosphere.
The setting sun shines through the autumn foliage of chestnut trees on the banks of the Landwehr Canal in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin.

The setting sun shines through the autumn foliage of chestnut trees on the banks of the Landwehr Canal in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin.

Stefan Jaitner/dpa/picture-alliance/AP

This bending of the rays causes the sun to appear above the horizon when its actual position is below the horizon. At latitudes above the equator, the days are slightly longer near the poles because the sun takes longer to rise and set.

Therefore, the autumnal equinox has a slightly different length depending on where you are. Here are some breakdowns to give you a rough idea:

• Near the equator: about 12 hours 6 minutes (Quito, Ecuador, Nairobi, Kenya, Singapore)

• Around 30 degrees north latitude: about 12 hours 8 minutes (New Orleans, Louisiana, Cairo, Egypt, Shanghai, China)

• Around 60 degrees north latitude: about 12 hours 16 minutes (Helsinki, Finland and Anchorage, Alaska)

You’ll have to wait until a few days or weeks after the official vernal equinox to truly divide day and night.that day called isoluxwhen it occurs depends on latitude.



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