With Friday the last day of summer 2012, fall is just hours away—and that means another fall (or autumnal) equinox, is coming on Saturday.
But what is the autumnal equinox? Most people don't quite know, so let Ledyard Patch serve as the great explainer for all things equinoctial.
Equinoxes fall on the halfway point between solstices and occur, according to the Washington Post, "when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of roughly equal length, everywhere in the world."
The nearly equal 12 hours of light and darkness can be attributed to the Earth's lack of an axial tilt on the day of the equinox. In fact, the word equinox is derived from the Latin words aequus, meaning equal, and nox, meaning night.
In Ledyard on the autumnal equinox, according to sunrisesunset.com, the sun will come up at 6:35 a.m. and set at 6:46 p.m. As you notice, that is not actually a perfect 12 hours of light and darkness. As timeanddate.com reports, this is because of issues such as light refraction and other reasons.
The exact moment of the autumnal equinox this year is 2:49 p.m. Coordinated Universal Time, or 10:49 a.m. in Ledyard.
Which is cool because you can note the passing of time at home and then get ready to celebrate at Children's Day, which will be held at Colonel Ledyard Park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Among other things, there will be pony rides, pumpkin painting, balloon houses and free food for all attendants. At 1:30 there will be a Mashantucket Pequot Native American song and dance; at 3:00 there will be a police dog demonstration and at 3:30 there will be a bike raffle.
If you're interested in celebrating the autumnal equinox in a truly unique fashion, join the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center for a equinox walk along Gungywamp. You'll be starting on your way just minutes after the equinox takes place for this area. Check out additional information and register online at the link above.
See ya next year, summer. Hello fall, and happy autumnal equinox!