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Today is the last day of summer for 2019.  Tomorrow at 2:50AM CDT Autumn will begin.  Wait!  What about those 90-degree temperatures that are going to hang around for another month or so?  Let’s take a look at the Autumn Equinox. 

What is an Equinox?

According to Bob Berman, longtime and famous astronomer for The Old Farmer’s Almanac,An Equinox occurs when the Earth angles perfectly sideways to the Sun. Neither pole will tip toward or away from it.  A more precise equinox event is that the Sun rises and sets exactly in the east and west, not southeast or northwest or anything else. It’s a time of precision, and an opportunity to correctly position your sundial, that task you keep putting off.”

Fall isn't caused by the Earth's distance from the sun

Fall, like all the seasons, is caused by the Earth's tilt in relation to the sun. It gets warmer in each hemisphere when that hemisphere tilts toward the sun and colder when it leans away.

Our friends at NASA tell us, “It is true that Earth’s orbit is not a perfect circle. It is a bit lop-sided. During part of the year, Earth is closer to the sun than at other times. However, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are having winter when Earth is closest to the sun and summer when it is farthest away!”

“Fall” is an American Term

Both autumn and fall were born in Britain, and both emigrated to America. But autumn was, by far, the more popular term for quite a long time. We aren't sure why fall flourished in the United States but by the mid-1800s, fall was considered to be entirely AmericanFall wasn't even entered into a dictionary until 1755, when Samuel Johnson first entered it in his Dictionary of the English Language.

Equinox Dates

While the September equinox usually occurs on September 22 or 23, it can very rarely fall on September 21 or September 24. A September 21 equinox has not happened for several millennia. However, in the 21st century, it will happen twice – in 2092 and 2096. The last September 24 equinox occurred in 1931, the next one will take place in 2303.

Dean and Draper

Enjoy the fist day of fall tomorrow.  When you need information about insurance, we’re only a phone call away.

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Sources: The Old Farmer's Almanac, Time and Date, Patch, Merriam-Webster, NASA