ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Continuing on the topic of fall changes, there are some changes you might not even notice around the Big Country.
The Autumn Equinox, which occurred last Saturday, is when the sun was at its peak. 1:50 a.m. marked the passage of direct sunlight over the equator from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere.
Here is a better idea on how the sun and earth align on the Autumn Equinox:
Day and night are balanced to nearly 12 hours each, due to the Earth’s axis of rotation being perpendicular to the ‘line’ connecting the equator of the Earth and the sun during an equinox.
Here is a satellite image of the Earth during the Autumn Equinox:
This image was captured on September 23, 2019, at 8:00 a.m. EDT by GOES East Satellite. This shows day and night to be roughly equal in length at all latitudes at that exact time.
From last Saturday until the Winter Solstice on December 21, daylight here in the Northern Hemisphere will gradually grow shorter. December 21 will be the shortest day with daylight for the year. The days will then become longer as we reach the Summer Solstice.
For instance, the sun will rise at 7:30 a.m. and will set at 7:27 p.m. on Wednesday. Come Friday, the sun will rise at 7:31 a.m. and set at 7:26 p.m. The sun will rise later and set earlier daily by a minute or so.
It isn’t something you notice or even think about unless you keep track of it. The reason why is because the Earth will be in the process of tilting away from the sun for our half of the equator.
One thing to note is that in the Southern Hemisphere, for places such as Australia and South America, everything is the complete opposite. The days there will become longer since the Earth will tilt towards them.
As our days get shorter here in the Big Country and we begin our fall and winter seasons, days in other parts of the world will get longer and they will begin their spring and summer seasons.
Another thing that typically happens around the start of fall is gasoline refineries will switch from making more expensive, summer-blend gas to cheaper, winter-blend gas.
According to GasBuddy, gasoline has a greater chance of evaporating from cars fuel systems during warmer months. Gasoline refineries reduce this by adding certain blends that have a lower Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) to reduce that chance.
During the winter, gasoline blends have a higher RVP, meaning they evaporate more easily and allows gas to ignite more easily to start your car in cold temperatures, and is less expensive to produce.
There are a lot of good changes to look forward to as we transition into the fall season. Enjoy the daylight while it lasts because Daylight Savings ends in less than 40 days!