Origin of autumnal equinox
Words nearby autumnal equinox
What and when is the autumnal equinox?
The autumnal equinox (also called the fall equinox) is one of the two equinoxes—the times of the year when the amount of daylight and nighttime hours are just about of equal length. The two equinoxes occur around March 20–21 and September 22–23.
The equinoxes occur on these days, but an equinox is not the whole day—it is the moment when the sun is directly above Earth’s equator. The term equinox can also refer to the position of the sun at this moment, and the term autumnal equinox can refer to the position of the sun at the moment considered the autumnal equinox. This can also be called the autumnal point.
The autumnal equinox is traditionally considered to mark the start of fall, while the vernal equinox is considered to mark the start of spring. In the Northern Hemisphere, the autumnal equinox occurs in September and the vernal equinox occurs in March. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the reverse.
In contrast, a solstice is one of the two times of the year when the positioning and tilt of Earth relative to the sun results in the most amount of daylight time or the least amount of daylight time in a single day.
There are two solstices during the year: one that occurs around June 20–22 (usually June 20 or 21) and one that occurs around December 20–23 (usually December 21 or 22). In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs in June and the winter solstice occurs in December. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the reverse.
Example: Some leaves start changing color around the time of the autumnal equinox, but some stay green for much longer.
Where does autumnal equinox come from?
The first records of the term autumnal equinox come from around 1530. The word autumnal means “of or relating to autumn (fall).” The word equinox comes from the Latin aequinoctium, meaning “the time of equal days and nights,” from equi-, meaning “equal,” and nocti-, meaning “night.”
An equinox is a moment, not an entire day. Since Earth is in motion, the exact positioning considered an equinox only happens for a moment. However, the word is most commonly used to refer to the day on which this happens. On most calendars, these days are used to mark the beginning of spring and fall similar to how the days of the two solstices are used to mark the beginning of summer and winter.
While the day of an equinox has equal amounts of daylight and darkness, the days on which the solstices occur are known for being the longest and shortest days of the year in terms of daylight. During the summer solstice, Earth is tilted toward the sun and receives sunlight for the longest time, resulting in the longest day of the year. During the winter solstice, Earth is tilted away from the sun and receives sunlight for the shortest time, resulting in the shortest day of the year. After the winter solstice, the days start getting longer (receiving more daylight time), reaching an equal amount on the day of the vernal equinox. After the summer solstice, the days start getting shorter (receiving less daylight time), reaching an equal amount again on the autumnal equinox.
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What are some synonyms for autumnal equinox?
- fall equinox
What are some words that share a root or word element with autumnal equinox?
What are some words that often get used in discussing autumnal equinox?
How is autumnal equinox used in real life?
The autumnal equinox is popularly associated with the first day of fall.
🍂 Today marks the beginning of the autumnal equinox, when day and night are nearly equal, and the first day of astronomical fall in the Northern Hemisphere. 🍁 Why equinoxes only happen twice in Earth’s year-long trip around the Sun: https://t.co/ONMn48hyE3 pic.twitter.com/nTisRdf0jM
— NASA (@NASA) September 22, 2020
Reminder today is the Autumnal equinox (for us southerners) and vernal equinox for those north of the wall.
Autumn/Spring starts today (by some definitions)
We reach the equinox at 2:49PM AEDT (Sydney time) this afternoon and then we head for winter solstice! https://t.co/w4UzVfhPHf
— Rami Mandow 🏳️🌈 (@CosmicRami) March 19, 2020
when the leaves lose their green and fall to the ground, you know the autumnal equinox is bound to come around
— julian lyric bot (@julianslyrics) February 12, 2021
Try using autumnal equinox!
True or False?
The autumnal equinox occurs on the shortest day of the year.
How to use autumnal equinox in a sentence
For a while yoga and pilates classes were sought out at luxury gyms like Equinox.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze|Lizzie Crocker|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Colors were vivid and autumnal, including fuchsia and olive green with metallic shimmers.Valentino, Chanel, and Alexander McQueen at Paris Fashion Week|Liza Foreman|March 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
These are autumnal deaths to expiate the sins of a people and appease the heavens so summer might return.Three Great Men Died That Day: JFK, C.S. Lewis, and Aldous Huxley|John Garth|November 3, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Their physical footprint is smaller than a traditional Equinox or Crunch Fitness gym -- between 3,000 to 8,000 square feet.Downsize Fitness, the Gym for Overweight Members Only|Daniel Gross|October 14, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Luxury fitness giant Equinox, which acquired SoulCycle in 2011, runs on the same model.SoulCycle Is a Booming Exercise Chain for the 1 Percent|Filipa Ioannou|July 19, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The morning we started was one of those perfect autumnal days when it is a delight simply to live.Music-Study in Germany|Amy Fay
A gentle breeze stirred the air and the surface of the lakes lay shimmering in the soft autumnal light.
Three varieties are associated with malarial fever in man—the tertian, quartan, and estivo-autumnal malarial parasites.
In estivo-autumnal malaria the gametes take distinctive ovoid and crescentic forms, and are not difficult to recognize.
In estivo-autumnal fever the regular grouping, while usually present at first, is soon lost, thus causing "irregular malaria."
British Dictionary definitions for autumnal equinox
- the point, lying in the constellation Virgo, at which the sun's ecliptic intersects the celestial equator
- the time at which this occurs as the sun travels north to south (23 September)