View this full web site Click: New Blog located at Local weather and interactive radar at

My Examiner Home Page- Click this image to view.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Begins. Equinox Not Equal

At 11:44 am (Eastern) fall will officially begin. It marks the moment when the suns focus crosses the equator and slips to the southern Hemisphere for the next 6 months. The word equinox sounds a lot like 'equal', and that is how I introduced the concept to my students when I was teaching. My physics teaching in High School tried to convince the lass that the equal force of the sun's gravitational pull on the equator would allow an egg to stand on it's end. Not true! It's a demonstration I continue to see in both autumn and spring. I even did this my first year on TV. Since I could not duplicate it, I used double sided scotch tape to keep the egg upright. I have also mastered the bar trick of balancing a salt shaker on it's corner base, but that's another story for another time. Truth is though, if you have the right egg, a flat spot to sit it on... just add patience and a steady hand to do the balancing.
I was also taught that it was the day when the entire planet also had equal time of daylight and darkness as well. That is not entirely true. That's right, tomorrow being the first 'full' day of autumn will not have a longer night in time than daylight. Sure, the nights are getting longer. In fact this is the fastest change we can see in Maryland, as we are now losing 3 minutes of daylight each day. But, you have to consider that light bends. Remember that double rainbow video I posted two weeks ago? Or just think about the red and orange sky in the morning and evening. That is a demonstration of how light bends in our atmosphere, especially at dawn and dusk. So while the sun itself should be in our view for 12 hours today (splitting the time with darkness), the light of the sun bends and gives us an extra 8 minutes.
Sunrise: 6:54am Sunset 7:03pm

On Thursday, we can honestly say the night is longer than the day. Then we can focus on the beginning of the fog season. I'll have more on that tomorrow with some great video of fog from above.
On a side note:
Walgreens will now display severe weather watches and warnings along with other vital information on their electronic outdoor signs. I wonder if there will be a run on overpriced umbrellas (barely good for one use). Could be a stock pick this week....

No comments: