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Autumn Is Here

Specter, 09/20/2007

We'll only have to suffer through a few more days of summer. Sunday night, September 23rd, at 1:51 am, is the Autumnal Equinox and marks the beginning of Autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere making Monday, September 24th, the first full day of Fall!

From a scientific standpoint, the Autumnal Equinox marks the southbound crossing of our sun through the celestial equator. It's also a point at which the Earth's equator has zero tilt, resulting in nearly equal lengths of day and night. From here on, the days will shorten and nights will lengthen until the Winter Equinox on December 21st when we have the longest night of the year.

On September 26th, just before sunset, at 5:55 pm we'll see the traditional symbol of fall, the Harvest Moon, rising gracefully in the East. The Harvest Moon got its name, appropriately enough, from farmers. Fall is the time when the crops that will sustain us through winter are harvested. This means long hours of work on the farm. Unfortunately, fall also means the hours of daylight are getting fewer as the Earth tilts away from the sun. The first full moon after the autumnal equinox rises near sunset and gives farmers enough light to work a few extra hours harvesting their crop. Hence, it became known as the Harvest Moon.

Those of us who live by the clock rather than the natural rhythm of nature have little to worry about the shortening number of daylight hours in the evening this fall. Our government has felt fit to once again alter our perception of time. Standard time will not start in October as it has for decades and will instead begin the first Sunday in November. Something all lovers of the night, such as myself, abhor.

Regardless of what time it is in relation to the sun, communities all over the Bay Area will be commemorating the Fall and of course the preeminent holiday of the season, Halloween, will still be taking place (albeit with fewer dark hours to enjoy).

For a full list of all the celebrations and wonderful fall activities take a look at our events calendar and remember to take some time out of your busy schedule and enjoy the changing season.


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