Thursday 22 September 2016

The September Equinox.

The September Equinox will falls on 22 September this year (2016), when the day and night will be of equal length in both of the Earth's hemispheres. The Earth spins on its axis at an angle to the plain of the Solar System. This means that the poles of the Earth do not remain at 90° to the Sun, but rather the northern pole is tilted towards the Sun for six months of the year (the northern summer), and the southern pole for the other six months (the southern summer). This means that twice a year neither pole is inclined towards the Sun, on days known as the equinoxes. 

 Simplified diagram showing the tilt of the Earth throughout the year. Not to scale. The Human Adventures in Space Exploration.

The equinoxes fall each year in March and September, with the March Equinox being the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Autumn Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere, while the September Equinox is the Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. On these two days the day and night are both exactly twelve hours long at every point on the planet, the only days on which this happens.

See also... reaches its aphelion.                             The Earth reached its aphelion, the furthest point in its orbit from the Sun, a distance of 152 111 120 km, at 4.24 pm GMT on Monday 4 July 2016. The Earth's orbit is slightly eccentric and slightly variable, leading to the distance between the Earth and the... June Solstice.                                         The June (or Northern) Solstice falls on Monday 20 June in 2016, the day on which the Sun rises highest in the sky and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the... Equinox, 2016.                                  The March Equinox fell on 20 March this year. The Earth spins on its...

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