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Days get shorter as autumnal equinox begins

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Fall officially begins Thursday night and, even though the weather doesn’t have any impact on our seasons, it appears Mother Nature is right on cue with making it feel more like fall.

The autumnal equinox will begin Thursday night, ushering in the first day of fall. This is when the sun’s rays are directed at the Earth’s equator. The Earth is tilted on its axis about 23.5 degrees, which provides the ever-changing seasons. The Northern Hemisphere is starting fall; the Southern Hemisphere is welcoming the first day of spring.

“Equinox” is derived from Latin meaning “equal” and “night.” Typically, we see about equal amounts of daylight and darkness around the autumnal equinox.

The sun’s rays will be directly at the Earth’s equator at 9:04 p.m. Sept. 22. The autumnal equinox can happen on either Sept. 22 or 23.

We’re going to begin to start to see a loss of daylight as we head into the fall and winter months. On this first day of fall, the sun rose at 7:33 a.m. and will set at 7:42 p.m.

In just a few weeks, on Oct. 1, the sunrise will be at 7:41 a.m. and the sunset will be at 7:27 p.m. That’s a loss of 23 minutes of daylight. We’ll continue to see those daylight hours get shorter as we head into the winter season.