Healthy Beginnings

Goodbye, August. Hello, September

GabrielleIrvin-FallEquinox

The time to bid farewell to sun-kissed summer days and welcome the slow greeting of crisp fall days is upon us – autumn is near.

Although it may be too soon to don your favorite burgundy knit cardigan and indulge in a much yearned for warm pumpkin spice latte (it is, after all, nearly 90 degrees in pockets of Northern Nevada), it’s certainly not too soon to learn about, and embrace, the first day of fall.

Thursday, September 22 marks the first day of the fall season, also known as the autumnal equinox.

“There are only two times during the year when the Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in a ‘nearly’

equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes,” according to the National Weather Service. This twice-yearly event is referred to as an equinox, which is derived from two Latin words – aequus (equal) and nox (night).

The days become longer at the higher latitudes because it takes the sun longer to rise and set. Therefore, on the equinox and for several days before and after the equinox, the hours of the day will nearly equal the hours of the night (both day and night being nearly 12 hours long).

“The ‘nearly’ equal hours of day and
night is due to refraction of sunlight, or
a bending of the light’s rays that causes
the sun to appear above the horizon when the actual position of the sun is below the horizon,” according to the National Weather Service.

The change in the Earth’s tilt causes the change in seasons, with the Northern Hemisphere slowly moving from the warmth of summer to the chill of winter. From this point, the days will gradually become shorter as we approach the winter solstice.

So, this month, keep an eye out for subtle hints of fall, and appreciate the beauty of Northern Nevada’s slow-changing leaves, golden landscapes and brisk evening air.

references

  1. http://www.weather.gov/cle/Seasons
  2. http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/ EarthSeasons.php