2012 Fall Equinox: Autumn Officially Arrives This Weekend

Goodbye summer, hello fall. The 2012 Fall Equinox will occur this weekend at 10:49 am EST on September 22nd, officially starting the autumn season.

According to Space.com, the sun will pass directly over the equator during the autumnal equinox. Day and night will be approximately the same length during the equinox, which is how the event got its name. Equinox in Latin means “equal night.”

But the day won’t be exactly 12 hours long. The Washington Post reports that due to atmospheric refraction the sun will appear to be above the horizon for slightly longer than 12 hours.

After the fall equinox the days will start to grow shorter in the Northern hemisphere. This is because the Northern Hemisphere will slowly tilt away from the sun. The days will grow longer in the southern hemisphere and will become shorter in the Northern hemisphere.

At the poles, the change is drastic.

Live Science reports that the sun will walk around the horizon during the fall equinox. A few days later the sun will completely drop below the horizon as the North pole begins a six month period of night.

Are you excited for the first day of Fall?