By Kayla Sutter
SC Contributing Writer
Summer is reaching its end.
The daily-high temperatures in East Stroudsburg have decreased from 80 and 90 degree-days to 60 and 70 degree-days in the last week.
Hoodie weather is creeping up on ESU students and Wawa has started to sell pumpkin spice everything, once again.
Fall is only days away, with the official start—the fall equinox—taking place next Wednesday, Sept. 23.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun will start rising later, and nightfall will come sooner. The amount of daylight will become shorter.
The word “equinox” is derived from the Latin for “equal night.” On the equinox, day and night essentially equal in length.
For the beginning of the equinox, the sun will rise exactly in the east and set exactly in the west.
This equinox occurs twice each year, once in the fall and again in the spring, when the sun crosses the celestial equator, the imaginary line focused above the actual equator of Earth.
In Pennsylvania, the autumn equinox will take place at exactly 4:21 a.m.
As explained by earthsky.org, this phenomenon occurs thanks to Earth’s ceaseless orbit around the Sun. The Earth does not orbit upright, but rotates tilted on its axis by 23 1/2 degrees.
The equinox occurs “when the tilt of the Earth’s axis and Earth’s orbit around the sun combine in such a way that the axis is inclined neither away from nor toward the sun.”
The Northern and Southern Hemispheres switch roles in receiving the sun’s warmth and light most directly.
Looking back in history, ancient ancestors at Machu Picchu in Peru were among the first to build observations in order to track the sun’s progress.
Before technological advances, these ancestors lived by the light of the sun. On the Intihuatata Stone, they documented very precisely the patterns of the sun: equinoxes, solstices and other celestial periods.
As the equinox progresses, nature will prepare for winter, responding to the change with beautiful sights.
The leaves will begin to change into reds, oranges, and yellows. Animals will gain thicker coats. Birds and butterflies will follow the sun’s warmth as they migrate south.
A new season brings with it an opportunity to better witness certain constellations, planet and stars.
Fomalhaut, also known as the loneliest star visible to the Northern Hemisphere, will be visible in the autumn night sky.
Mercury will be viewable on October mornings, and September evenings.
Jupiter will be visible in the morning sky mid-September.
Uranus will make its best appearance in the middle of October, according to stardate.org.
According to windows2universe.org, autumn constellations visible to the Northern Hemisphere also include: Andromeda, Aquarius, Capricornus, Pegasus and Pisces.
Although temperatures may return to highs of 80 degrees at the end of the month, autumn is only days away.
Just as nothing halts Earth’s orbit around the sun, nothing stops college students from breaking out their favorite sweaters and boots and filling their heads with visions of corn mazes, pumpkins, and Halloween.