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What is the Fall Equinox?

So long, summer. Saturday is the first day of fall and we have an idea for celebrating near Wayland.

With Friday the last day of summer 2012, fall is just hours away—and that means another fall (or autumnal) equinox, is coming on Saturday.

But what is the autumnal equinox? Most people don't quite know, so let Wayland Patch serve as the great explainer for all things equinoctial.

Equinoxes fall on the halfway point between solstices and occur, according to the Washington Post, "when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of roughly equal length, everywhere in the world."

The nearly equal 12 hours of light and darkness can be attributed to the Earth's lack of an axial tilt on the day of the equinox. In fact, the word equinox is derived from the Latin words aequus, meaning equal, and nox, meaning night.

In Wayland on the autumnal equinox, according to sunrisesunset.com, the sun will come up at 6:33 a.m. and set at 6:44 p.m. As you notice, that is not actually a perfect 12 hours of light and darkness. As timeanddate.com reports, this is because of issues such as light refraction and other reasons.

The exact moment of the autumnal equinox this year is 2:49 p.m. Coordinated Universal Time, or 10:49 a.m. in Wayland.

If you're interested in celebrating the autumnal equinox in a truly unique fashion, join the Sudbury Valley Trustees for a canoe trip down the Concord River. You'll be on the river when the equinox takes place for this area. Check out additional information and register online at the link above.

See ya next year, summer. Hello fall, and happy autumnal equinox!

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