The Autumn Equinox is a time where the length of our day is equal to the length of our night. The days are becoming shorter, and at the equinox, the length of day will be 12hrs and the length of night will be 12hrs (approximately). After the equinox, the days will continue to become shorter until we get to the shortest day of the year called the winter solstice.
Come and learn some MATH WORDS while we discover more about the Autumn Equinox!
This is our earth. It is a SPHERE.
We divide our Earth into two parts, called HEMISPHERES, the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere. The line that divides them is called the Equator. Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere.
Our Earth spins on its AXIS which is an imaginary line. You can see how this works by taking an orange and putting a skewer through the middle. Like this, the orange will spin around the ‘skewer’ axis.
When the Earth faces the sun, we have day, when it faces away from the sun, we have night. Because the axis of the earth is at an angle to the sun, the length of day and night changes depending on where the Earth is in its orbit.
Each year, as the earth travels its orbit, and we have two occasions where the length of day is EQUAL to the length of night; the Autumn Equinox and the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox. Equinox is the Latin word for ‘equal night.’ The day is approximately 12 hours and the night is also approximately 12 hours.
The Autumn Equinox occurs when the rays of the sun strike PERPENDICULAR to the surface of the earth at the equator, then the earth has an equal amount of daylight hours and night-time hours.
You might like to watch this video which explains the equinox.
I have made this Autumn Equinox poster for you. You may like to download it and display it as the Autumn Equinox draws near.
You can get these 3-part Autumn Equinox cards here.
You will find more information and activities in Nature Study Guide, Volume 1.