Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Autumn Equinox!

Unabashedly pirated from my friend Jahnavi Foster’s Facebook page

Jahnavi Foster
In turn, Jahnavi copped her info from the livescience site; an article entitled “Autumn Equinox: 5 Odd Facts about Fall.”  And obviously I’m a bit late with it since said equinox occurred yesterday (9/23/2013) at 4:44 p.m. EDT – when the sun was directly in line with Earth’s celestial equator. It’s the point at which day and night is almost exactly the same length, 12 hours light, 12 hours dark. (It will happen again at the spring equinox. This year that’ll be March 20.)

5 signs of the fall phenomenon:

1.  Besides the fantastic foliage displays (unbearably missing down here on the Texas Gulf Coast!) the aurora borealis, or northern lights, ramp up their show due to the doubled frequency of geomagnetic storms during the season.

2. Animals respond to light changes by squirreling away winter provender and/or pigging out as prep for hibernation. The article took pains to mention that the testes of the male Siberian hamster swells to 17x normal size. Presumably he should call his doctor if the condition lasts more than 5 hours.

3. In autumn the full moon is called Harvest Moon because of the pre-electrical, pre-John Deere days when farmers harvested 24/7 to keep up with crops all ripening at once.

4. This one’s a sad reminder that fall foliage, triggered by chilling temps, will fade due to global warming.

5. Why is the equinox a different date each year? The Gregorian calendar doesn't square up with the position of Earth in its solar orbit. We should’ve stuck with the Aztec’s.

So enjoy your trees, folks. And please send me some pictures!

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