The autumnal, or fall equinox (the first day of autumn 2015) occurs today, September 23, 2015. The equinox happens when the equator passes the centre of the sun. This is when the north and south poles of the Earth are not tilted towards or away from the sun, as at other times, but are aligned so as to give, theoretically, the same amount of daylight in both of the Earth’s hemispheres. After the autumnal equinox, the days get shorter and the nights get longer. Traditionally it signified when the farmers brought in the harvest, which perhaps explains why the full moon nearest the equinox is often called the harvest moon.

harvestmoon

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