Fall Into Autumn: Slooh Webcast Celebrates Equinox Thursday

A woman walks her dog in London's Greenwich Park on Sept. 21, 2016 in London, England. Today marks final day of summer as the autumn equinox arrives on Thursday.
A woman walks her dog in London's Greenwich Park on Sept. 21, 2016 in London, England. Today marks final day of summer as the autumn equinox arrives on Thursday. (Image credit: Carl Court/Getty Images)

Summer will transition into fall tomorrow (Sept. 22), and the Slooh Community Observatory is celebrating this celestial event with a live webcast. 

The 45-minute Slooh equinox webcast will begin at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), and you can watch it live on the Slooh website here. The webcast will feature views of the sun (its position in the sky can reveal the time of year). You can also watch the webcast at Space.com, courtesy of Slooh. 

The Earth's seasons are more than just a convention of the calendar; they're determined by the tilt of the Earth on its axis. When one half of the planet is tilted toward the sun, that hemisphere experiences summer, while the other hemisphere is tilted away and experiences winter. The transition into fall in the Northern Hemisphere is thus a transition into spring in the Southern Hemisphere. [Season to Season: Earth's Equinoxes & Solstices (Infographic)

The autumn equinox marks a midway point in this planetary tilt, halfway between the longest day of the year (the start of summer) and the shortest day of the year (the start of winter) for the Northern Hemisphere.

According to a statement from Slooh, the webcast host, Paul Cox, "will be joined by a series of expert guests," including Gail Higginbottom, a lecturer from the school of archaeology and anthropology at the University of Adelaide in Australia, who will discuss her research on the great stone circles of the United Kingdom and their connection to the movement of the sun and the moon.

The webcast is a partnership between Slooh and the publishers of the annual reference book and website "The Old Farmer's Almanac." Cox will also be joined by Janice Stillman, current editor of the almanac. Stillman will discuss some of the long-held cultural beliefs and traditions surrounding the equinox, including the rumor that it's possible to balance an egg on its end during the event.

The 2016 autumn equinox will take place on Sept. 22. (Image credit: NASA/Robert Simmon/EUMETSAT)

Slooh astronomer and astronomy editor for "The Old Farmer's Almanac," Bob Berman, will also join the broadcast to "break down the basics of the equinox," including why the split between day and night aren't actually equal and why the equinox doesn't take place at the same day and time each year.  

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Calla Cofield
Senior Writer

Calla Cofield joined Space.com's crew in October 2014. She enjoys writing about black holes, exploding stars, ripples in space-time, science in comic books, and all the mysteries of the cosmos. Prior to joining Space.com Calla worked as a freelance writer, with her work appearing in APS News, Symmetry magazine, Scientific American, Nature News, Physics World, and others. From 2010 to 2014 she was a producer for The Physics Central Podcast. Previously, Calla worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (hands down the best office building ever) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. Calla studied physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is originally from Sandy, Utah. In 2018, Calla left Space.com to join NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory media team where she oversees astronomy, physics, exoplanets and the Cold Atom Lab mission. She has been underground at three of the largest particle accelerators in the world and would really like to know what the heck dark matter is. Contact Calla via: E-Mail – Twitter