Watch for the First Day of Autumn

In 2023, September 23 is the Autumnal Equinox or, in other words, “The First Day of Autumn.” This date is also known as the September equinox or fall equinox. If you need to be precise on this change in seasons it will happen at 2:40 am EDT and it occurs at the same moment worldwide.

Fun Facts About the Fall Equinox, First Day of Autumn

Some satellites are vulnerable to disruptions—lots of them orbit around the equator, so when the sun is shining directly on them on the equinox, the unusual amount of solar radiation can lead to slow internet connections and staticky radios, according to National Geographic. These “sun outages” can happen during the days before and after the equinox too, and they usually only last a few minutes.

The ancient Mayans really played it up: At Chichén Itzá on the Yucatán peninsula, the Pyramid of Kukulkán (also known as El Castillo) is a pyramid with 365 steps—that’s one for each day of the year. On the fall equinoxes, a shadow appears on the pyramid’s surface that looks like a serpent descending the steps toward a stone head at the bottom.

Scientists say that at the September equinox, the chances of catching the Northern Lights increase for those located in the northern hemisphere. The equinoxes are the best time for the Northern Lights because geomagnetic activities are twice as likely to occur during autumn and spring rather than winter or summer.

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