First Day Of Fall 2008, Autumnal Equinox, Vernal Equinox Are Here – Time To Get Out And View Fall Colors

by Trendy

That beautiful time of the year has arrived!! Yes today is officially the first day of fall 2008. Changing colors and excellent weather are the hallmarks of fall season. The neon red, orange, yellow, maroon and gold color leaves will be out there soon for everyone to enjoy. To get information about the best Fall foliage hot spots, be sure to check the USDA Forest service website. You can also get the latest updates on Foliage sightings from the Foliage Network on their website at www.foliagenetwork.com

image courtesy – Just Joe Online From Flickr

Today, September 22 2008, also marks the day of Autumnal Equinox in the Northern hemisphere and Vernal Equinox of the southern hemisphere. ‘Equinox’ is a Latin word meaning ‘equal night’. In other words, its the time when the days and nights are of equal length and the sun is directly over the equator. According to Wikipedia,

There is either an equinox (autumn and spring) or a solstice (summer and winter) on approximately the 21st day of the last month of every quarter of the calendar year. On a day which has an equinox, the centre of the Sun will spend a nearly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth and night and day will be of nearly the same length. The word equinox derives from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night). In reality, the day is longer than the night at an equinox. Commonly, the day is defined as the period that sunlight reaches the ground in the absence of local obstacles. From Earth, the Sun appears as a disc and not a single point of light; so, when the centre of the Sun is below the horizon, the upper edge is visible. Furthermore, the atmosphere refracts light; so, even when the upper limb of the Sun is below the horizon, its rays reach over the horizon to the ground. In sunrise/sunset tables, the assumed semidiameter (apparent radius) of the sun is 16 minutes of arc and the atmospheric refraction is assumed to be 34 minutes of arc. Their combination means that when the upper limb of Sun is on the visible horizon its centre is 50 minutes of arc below the geometric horizon, which is the intersection with the celestial sphere of a horizontal plane through the eye of the observer. These effects together make the day about 14 minutes longer than the night at the equator, and longer still at sites toward the poles. The real equality of day and night only happens at places far enough from the equator to have at least a seasonal difference in daylength of 7 minutes, and occurs a few days towards the winter side of each equinox.

Enjoy some beautiful Fall Colors and pictures captured by the Absolute Michigan Group here.

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