Thursday, 20 March 2008

Autumn equinox

It is the Autumn Equinox today at 3.48pm. On the day of the Autumn Equinox, the Earth’s poles are the same distance from the Sun. The Sun rises due east, sets due west and reaches 52° above the horizon at noon. There are roughly 12 hrs of day and 12 hrs of night.

In some parts of the world, such as Australia, seasons begin on the first day of a particular calendar month - in March for Autumn, June for Winter, September for Spring and December for Summer. In other countries such as Britain, it’s accepted that the seasons begin on the dates that the Earth passes four special points in its orbit about the Sun.

With the hot weather that we have had lately it would probably be more correct to have Autumn begin on the day of the Autumn Equinox. A scientist in Adelaide has done some climate modelling and has said that the recent 15 day heatwave was probably a one in 3,000 yr occurrence. The last heatwave of 10 days was back in 1934.

I'm just happy that it is over, I was starting to feel really grumpy, and I couldn't be bothered doing anything, just happy to lie around in front of a fan and read and doze. Last weekend I did the bare minimum that I could get away with doing, everything else I left till it got cooler. So now I am paying for it and have to play catch-up.

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