If you're calculating by the cosmos, today (Sept. 23) marks the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere, and Google has made a charming doodle to celebrate the occasion.
The doodle is designed for the northern hemisphere, and shows a napping Earth crowned by a brilliant golden oak leaf. The company's name is festooned by branches and roots sporting the same autumnal foliage.
A partner doodle made for the Southern Hemisphere's vernal equinox depicts Earth looking up at a cheerful pink flower sprouting from its top, with greening vegetation decorating the Google name.
The equinox — named for the fact that day and night each last an equal 24 hours — marks the time when the plane of Earth's axial tilt is directly perpendicular to the sun's radiation. Whereas for the solstices in June and December, the northern and southern poles respectively receive more of the sun's radiation, at the equinox, that light hits Earth more evenly.
Whichever hemisphere you're in, welcome to another new season!
- The Four Seasons: Change Marks the Passing of a Year
- Google Doodle Celebrates Year's Shortest Day
- See Earth's Amazing Beauty from Space in This Time-Lapse Video by an Astronaut
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Meghan is a senior writer at Space.com and has more than five years' experience as a science journalist based in New York City. She joined Space.com in July 2018, with previous writing published in outlets including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from New York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys reading and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.