Well, even if the OED defines them as such, neither the September equinox nor the just-past March variety actually counts an exactly symmetrical twelve hours of daylight and darkness. Often, the fussy details of things in astronomy (like whether an equinox is labelled as spring, or just March) are related to an observers location on Earth. This time, though, it mainly matters that this was only the spring equinox if you live north of the equator, so identifying it by its month is less hemisphere-centric. Which is absolutely a word.

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Happy September equinox, everyone.

One of the cool things about this day is that it has a fairly high profile on the common, demi-Gregorian calendar, the equinoxes perhaps figuring even larger than solstices in my casual surveys. Another one is that it is only the autumnal equinox if you live north of the equator: otherwise, it is the vernal kind.

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I feel a prediction coming on: innumerable news stories tomorrow will lead with a discussion of how everywhere on Earth gets twelve hours of darkness and twelve hours of daylight.

To quote someone more prolific than I, sadly, no.

Well, okay, the Sun is was on the celestial equator at about 2p today, HST, and the Naval Observatory also says that Hilo gets twelve hours of daylight today, but there are any number of things that won’t happen today.

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