Fall Equinox 2022 Northern Hemisphere (The  September Equinox Marks The Sun’s Crossing Above Earth’s Equator)

fall equinox 2022 northern hemisphere

The autumnal equinox occurs in the Northern Hemisphere when the Sun is directly above the equator as it moves from the northern to southern hemisphere (also known as fall equinox, September equinox or southward equinox). 

That’s when summer officially ends and fall begins in the Northern Hemisphere, where nearly 90% of the world’s population resides. For those in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the vernal equinox (also known as the spring equinox), marking the transition from winter to spring.

fall equinox 2022 northern hemisphere

The autumnal equinox occurs every year between September 21 and September 24 in the Northern Hemisphere. For the purposes of this page, UTC dates are interchangeable with GMT (GMT – the time zone of the United Kingdom). 

The autumnal equinox occurs at the same instant in all time zones, but the date and local time vary from year to year and from location to location due to differences in time zones.

 It may occur the day after in locations further east of UTC and the day before in locations further west of UTC.  Use this seasons calculator to determine the precise date and time of the autumnal equinox in 2022 for your location.

There are four days (two equinoxes and two solstices) in the year that mark the beginning of a new season, and autumn’s equinox is one of them. The other three are the spring equinox, summer solstice, and winter solstice, respectively (beginning of winter).

The Latin origin of the word for “equal night” (equinox) is obvious. At the time of an equinox, everywhere on Earth experiences roughly the same amount of daylight and darkness because the Earth’s axis is at a zero-degree angle to the Sun. 

Day and night durations will be different at other times.


The vernal equinox occurs when the Sun is directly overhead at the equator rather than to the north or south. There is a false impression that the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west on the equinox.

 You can count on this happening twice a year, on or around March 20 and September 23.

To be more precise, an equinox occurs when the plane of the Earth’s equator crosses the geometric centre of the Sun’s disc. 

fall equinox 2022

The equinoxes and solstices are annual events that occur at regular intervals. Both events have slightly shifting dates due to leap years and other factors.

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For example, the March equinox is called northward equinox to reflect the fact that the sun’s declination is crossing the celestial equator in a northerly direction at that time, while the September equinox is called southward equinox to reflect the fact that it is crossing the equator in a southerly direction.

Geocentric View Of The Astronomical Seasons

In the six-month period around the summer solstice in June, the Sun rises in the northern hemisphere and sets in the southern hemisphere, resulting in the former experiencing longer days and the latter experiencing longer nights.

 For this reason, not even places that are directly on the reference meridian for their time zone will experience sunrise and sunset at precisely 6:00 and 18:00. 

They are approximately seven to eight minutes later during the March equinox and seven to eight minutes earlier during the September equinox. Common usage defines sunrise and sunset as occurring when the upper limb of the solar disc meets the horizon.

Effects On Satellites

fall equinox 2022 Effects On Satellites

A temporary disruption of communications satellites is an effect of equinoctial periods. Around the equinox, there are a few days when the Sun is directly behind a geostationary satellite with respect to Earth (i.e. within the beam-width of the ground-station antenna). 

The immense power and broad radiation spectrum of the Sun overwhelm the reception circuits at the Earth station, causing temporary disruption or degradation of the circuit depending on the size of the antenna and other factors. 

For geostationary satellites, the longest period of time spent in Earth’s shadow occurs around the time of the equinox because of their location above the Equator.

Equinoxes On Other Planets

On any planet with a skewed rotational axis, the equinoxes are defined in the same way. Saturn is a dramatic example because its rings are edge-on to the Sun during the equinox. And so, when viewed from Earth, they appear as nothing more than a slender line. 

They get very little sunlight when viewed from above; in fact, they get more planet shine than light from the Sun. This was first seen in 2009 by the Cassini space probe during an equinox.

fall equinox 2022 On Other Planets

This phenomenon happens approximately once every 14.7 years and can last for several weeks before and after the vernal equinox. Saturn’s last equinox was on August 11, 2009, and its next will be on May 6, 2025.

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The last equinoxes on Mars occurred on 7 February 2021 (northern spring) and 24 February 2022. (northern autumn).

FAQs – People Also Ask

What happens in the fall equinox?

It’s not a solstice, but rather the autumn equinox that ushers in the new season. Today is the first day of Autumn, also known as the autumn equinox, when the sun rises in the east and sets in the west at precisely the same times. At 9 p.m. ET on Thursday, the season officially transitions from summer to fall.

What causes fall equinox?

When the sun moves from the northern to the southern hemisphere, it marks the beginning of autumn on the Autumn Equinox. When this happens, the North Pole begins to rotate counterclockwise, away from the sun. The duration of the day and night are roughly equal.

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William Davis

William here, I'm a born and raised New Jerseyan who's always been interested in writing. After college, I moved to Canada to pursue a career in SAAS development. I've always been an avid fisherman, and enjoy spending my free time outdoors. I'm also a huge fan of TV shows, and often spend my evenings binge-watching my favorites.
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