By Ethan Shea
Tomorrow, on September 22, summer will officially be over. This may be hard to stomach, but don’t fret. There’s plenty to look forward to in the fall!
If we’re being honest, summer really ends when the school year begins, but I understand the world does not revolve around our academic calendar. If you’re a meteorologist, summer ends when August does. Tomorrow’s autumnal equinox only signifies the end of Astronomical summer.
During the autumnal equinox, which signifies the beginning of fall, the sun is directly above the equator. This means the amount of daylight the Northern and Southern hemispheres receive is nearly equal. Because our Gregorian calendar is not precisely in tune with the Earth’s revolution around the sun, hence our use of leap years, the dates of equinoxes vary within a few days.
Essentially, the vernal (spring) and autumnal equinoxes are opposites of the summer and winter equinoxes. During summer and winter equinoxes the Earth’s tilt, either toward or away from the sun, is at its peak. During vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the Earth has essentially no tilt relative to the sun’s rays.
Personally, I’m happy to welcome autumn and the cooler weather it brings. The hot summers are tough for this born and bred New Englander. But I wasn’t the only one feeling the heat this year, as the summer of 2022 was one of the hottest ever recorded. In fact, this summer tied summer 2020 as the hottest summer globally on record. Read this Washington Post article at Falvey Library’s website to find more stats about how this summer’s heat stacks up against previous years.
In addition to more temperate weather, we have fall’s vibrant foliage to look forward to. Check out this TBT post which includes a picturesque autumn photo from the 1965 edition of Belle Air.
Let us know in the comments what your favorite season is! Are you someone who likes it hot, or are you eagerly waiting for a cool autumn breeze?
Ethan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.