Autumn Equinox: What it means and your photos!

It's the Autumn Equinox today Credit: : Patrick Pleul/DPA/Press Association Images


Today Wednesday 23rd September is officially the first day of Autumn otherwise known as the Autumn Equinox.

Equinox is derived from the word equal night. The Earth has an axil tilt – it doesn't sit straight in the solar system. It leans on its axis at an angle. As a result, the northern and southern hemisphere either point towards or away from the Sun depending on the time of year.

For example, when the northern hemisphere points towards the Sun it is summer here in the UK and when it points away it is winter.

But there are two points in the Earth’s orbit that neither hemisphere directly points towards or away from the Sun, resulting in a nearly equal amount of daylight and darkness. These are called equinoxes. The Spring one in March and the Autumn one today.

Theoretically it means 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 bought in the harvest, which perhaps explains why the full moon nearest the equinox is often called the harvest moon.


Redditch Credit: Paul Wilde
Peak District Credit: Steve Stain
Hednesford, Staffordshire Credit: Sue Childs
Cannock Chase Credit: Linda Mortimer
Misty Wrekin Credit: John Phillips

However just to confuse things, in the meteorological world Autumn starts on September 1st. In order to make more accurate comparisons of seasonal weather from year to year, meteorologists divide the seasons into four three-month periods.


We're going to have some beautiful crisp, sunny Autumnal days as we head towards and into the weekend. However the nights will be cooler with mist and fog patches too. But it is the perfect weather to enjoy the crisp Autumn days and the array of changing colours.