Even though Utah is about to see some extreme heat, summer is coming to an end. Kids are back in school, pools will close for the season and pumpkin spice products will hit the shelves of your local Trader Joe’s. Here’s everything you need to know about autumn equinox 2022.
When does summer officially end?
According to the Almanac, the autumn equinox will be Thursday, Sept. 22. It starts at 7:04 MDT. This day officially marks the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn. The next autumn equinox will be Sept. 23, 2023.
What is the autumn equinox?
Coming from the Latin words “aequus,” meaning equal, and “nox,” meaning night, the autumn equinox is a day where the amount of daylight is roughly equivalent to the amount of darkness. The equinox itself is an astronomical event that indicates the shift of seasons.
According to the National Weather Service, “There are only two times of the year when the Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in a ‘nearly’ equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes.”
The equinox is different than the summer and winter solstice. “The summer solstice occurs at the moment the earth’s tilt toward/from the sun is at a maximum,” according to the National Weather Service.
In Greek mythology, the autumn equinox marked when the goddess Persephone would return to the underworld to be with Hades. Persephone would then appear again in the springtime.
The ancient Greek poem “Hymn to Demeter” reads, “But when the earth starts blossoming with fragrant flowers of springtime, flowers of every sort, then it is that you must come up from the misty realms of darkness, once again, a great thing of wonder to gods and mortal humans alike.”
When is the best time to see the northern lights?
The Autumn Equinox is a great time to see the northern lights. According to Discover the World, aurora borealis is visible starting around the time of the autumn equinox. Viewers can see the red, orange, yellow and even green lights during this time.