The Autumn Equinox

The 2017 autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere occurs Friday, September 22, at 1:02pm PDT (20:02 UT), when the Sun enters Libra. It is one of the two days of the year that the Sun moves across the celestial equator, the imaginary line among the stars that lies directly above the Earth's equator circling from east to west. The Sun's crossing of the celestial equator occurs one other time on the spring equinox. Both times this crossing occurs, the Sun rises exactly due east and sets exactly due west!


The Sun crosses the celestial equator at both equinoxes.
The Sun is ascending "springing" in March, and descending "falling" in September.

At this special moment – the instant of the September equinox – the midday sun will be at zenith, or straight overhead, at the Earth’s equator. That’s the meaning of equinox. The September equinox sun crosses the sky’s equator, going from north to south. Because the path of the sun is heading southward, this equinox signals the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

Note: The Sun crosses the equator from north to south for both hemispheres at the September equinox, however the Sun's path "springs up" toward the north for the Southern Hemisphere's springtime and continues to "fall" toward the south for the Northern Hemisphere's fall or autumn. AstroViewer the interactive sky map is helpful in seeing this ... Select "Trust" to run applet. Give map time to load in (about 30 seconds). I never found the applet blocked by security settings.

Equinox, which means "equal night" refers to a time when the length of day and night are equal. As the Sun crosses the celestial equator, the axis of the Earth points neither toward nor away from the Sun resulting in 12 hours of darkness and light over the planet.

... Since the Earth's tilt relative to the Sun is constantly changing, the 12-hour symmetry can be only approximately true anywhere. However, if you look at the sunrise sunset times for your location, you find that it is several minutes off on this date. Why? It's because the refracting or bending effects of the Earth's atmosphere alters the observed time of sunrise and sunset. The Sun rises a little earlier and sets a little later due to this effect, causing the observed equinox to precede the true equinox by a few days in spring. In the fall it follows by a few days. Larry Sessions Originally for

Seasons and the Celestial Sphere

The path of the Sun in the sky intersects the celestial sphere and marks the seasons. At the spring and autumn equinoxes, when the Sun intersects the celestial equator it rises due east and sets due west. At the summer solstice, when the Sun reaches its highest point north of the celestial equator it rises as far northeast as it can and sets as far northwest as it can. At the winter solstice, when the Sun reaches its lowest point south of the celestial equator it rises as far southeast as it can and sets as far southwest as it can.

... on the week before and after the equinox the Sun changes its rising and setting position on the horizon each day by a full Sun's width, which is over half a degree. (moving from north to south) Of course you have to be careful not to stare at the Sun as it rises or sets. On the equinox it will rise due east and set due west, but then the following week watch it again dramatically change ... as it moves from due east toward the south and you'll be absolutely amazed! Star Gazer

Celestial Sphere ~ Key Concepts

The autumn equinox occurs at the exact moment in time
when the Sun, heading from the north to the south,
appears in the sky at the point
where the ecliptic crosses the celestial equator.


Here's a list of autumn equinox facts from The Seasons by the Astronomy Club of Tulsa:

The direct rays (of the Sun) are at the equator

Six months of darkness begins at the North Pole

Six months of light begins at the South Pole

Twelve hours of darkness and twelve hours of light all over the earth

It is the longest day of the year on the equator, again (spring equinox is the longest day, previous)

The sun rises due east and sets due west

Autumn begins in the Northern Hemisphere

Spring begins in the Southern Hemisphere

Hmmm ... check out the Spring Equinox page for more equinox facts and surprise your friends with them.

Aurora Season Begins!
Geomagnetic storms tend to be most intense
during the weeks around the September equinox.

Meditative insights for the Autumn Equinox

Global Meditations ~ September Equinox

There are a variety of equinox global meditations occurring at various times during the day. Participate in one or more of these meditations to strengthen the Light Grid of planet Earth. Those living in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are participating in September's equinox meditations.

Equinox Exact: Friday, September 22
at 1:02pm PDT (20.02 UT)

Global Equinox Meditation
Begins 15 mins. before the exact solstice.
OR ...
Choose a time that suits you.

A 30-min. recording of music and simple
thoughts is designed to begin 15 mins.
before the peak solstice time. After
30 minutes of meditation jot down
your impressions and guidance.
With this equinox we are contributing to
both individual and global enlightenment.
We are renewing our commitment to protect all
life on Earth by solemnly accepting to permanently
serve as a living vessel, as a conscious channel and
as a consenting instrument for the Will of the
Creator Source present in each of our souls.
May the Light of the One in All be your
guiding beacon... here, now and forever.
Thank you for passing this invitation on to
others so as to help us all expand
the circle of participating souls.


Healing Our Oceans ~
Marine Meditation

September Equinox
8:00pm your time

This "Wave" meditation directs healing and loving
energies to the oceans of the world and will circle
the planet during this 24-hour period.
Gather for "Healing the Oceans of the World"
at a body of water or a sacred site.
The following link is related ...
Golden Water Activation Meditation
Merge with dolphin and whale consciousness.


Worldwide Didgeridoo Meditation
September Equinox ~ Sunset Your Time

This a worldwide link-up of people supporting
environmental and personal awareness.
It is held on the equinoxes and solstices.
Starting at sunset participants are asked to
play or listen to meditative music
(preferably didgeridoos) for 45 minutes
and then sit silently for 15 minutes.
This wave meditation starts Sept. 23 in
New Zealand, is followed by Australia, Asia,
Arab countries, Israel, Africa, Europe, with
America, Canada, Middle and South America
completing the world wide circle Sept. 22.
Participants Worldwide
Global Sunrse Sunset Times


Current and Ongoing Global Meditations


Have an Awesome Autumn!

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send me an email
May your Night Sky traveling always be filled
with Celestial Delights and Treats!
Susan Sun Home