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This morning (Sept. 23) at 3:49 a.m. EDT (0749 GMT) marked the official celestial beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.
Beaches - Parts - United - States - Shift
Although beaches have long been closed in many parts of the United States and there's already been a meteorological shift from summer into autumn, today marks a special transition in which the sun crosses the celestial equator, or the projection of Earth's equator onto the sky, from north to south. While the north gears up for chillier days, the south is welcoming springtime.
Cultures around the world have celebrated this celestial shift in different ways. In Japan both equinoxes are national holidays known as Ohigan, in which people honor their deceased ancestors. In Mexico, tourists flock to view the descent of the feathered-snake god Kukulkán along the side of a Mayan pyramid in Chichén Itzá.
Satellite - Images - Earth - Planet - Terminator
These four satellite images of Earth show how the planet's terminator, or the line between night and day, changes with the seasons due to the Earth's tilt.
The word "equinox" means "equal night" in Latin, because this transitional day...
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