Happy equinox: Autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere, and spring in the Southern Hemisphere on Sept. 22

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Happy equinox!

Autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere, and spring in the Southern Hemisphere, today at 4:02 p.m. EDT.

equinox, equinoxes, Aurora love equinoxes,
Sept. 22: Astronomers call this date the equinox, because night and day are of almost equal length.

That’s when the sun crosses the equator heading south for the season. Astronomers call this date the equinox, because night and day are of almost equal length.

equinox, equinoxes, Aurora love equinoxes,
The onset of autumn around the Arctic Circle brings an end to relentless summer sunlight–and a new beginning for Northern Lights. By Frank Olsen via Spaceweather

It also marks the beginning of aurora season. Auroras love equinoxes. At this time of year, even a gentle gust of solar wind can spark a bright display.

equinox, equinoxes, Aurora love equinoxes,
Aurora love equinoxes. via Spaceweather

After the autumnal equinox, the days get shorter and the nights get longer. Traditionally it signified when the farmers bought in the harvest, which perhaps explains why the full moon nearest the equinox is often called the harvest moon.

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