The Autumnal Equinox will be here Monday morning at 3:50 AM (US Eastern Time); the sun will be directly over the equator.
Equinoxes and solstices have inspired people's curiosity and helped them organize their lives since before history was recorded. Your students are likely no exception.
Here are some basic facts to share:
• Equinoxes occur twice each year - September and March
• On only those two days each year, all people on Earth experience an *almost* equal duration of daylight and nighttime. (Due to the size of the sun and refraction of light, day is actually eight minutes longer than night on the equinoxes.)
• Equinox is Latin for equal night.
• Equinoxes also mark the midpoint in the year between the Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice; the longest and shortest periods of daylight in a day.
Want to dive a little deeper? NJCTL invites you to use our free, editable course materials to help your students understand the big picture. The Earth-Moon-Sun System chapter in our Physical Environment course is a great place to start. We’ve created a shortened version of this presentation. You can click here to download it as a PDF and use it as a conversation-starter for your classroom on Monday!
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