Happy First Day of Fall!
September 22, 2017
Today is the first day of the fall season, and more importantly, the Autumn equinox, when night and day are exactly equal in length. Here are a few interesting facts that you might not know about this important natural phenomenon.
- From the Autumn Equinox until the Winter Solstice, the nights will get continually longer and the days will get continually shorter.
- Fall (and the cooler weather that comes with it) isn't caused by Earth's increasing distance from the sun, but rather by the Earth's tilt in relation to the sun.
- The red, orange and yellow colors of the fall leaves a decrease in the pigment chlorophyll, which gives them their green color. When the temperature cools, the chlorophyll breaks down and exposes other pigments.
- The word "fall" dates back to the 1600s, when British poets began to use it to describe the season because of the falling leaves.
- This year, the Autumn Equinox officially begins at 4:02 p.m. ET in the Northern Hemisphere.