Fall arrives Monday night with autumnal equinox

  • Christopher Walls of Owings Mills was returning from a trip into Pennsylvania for photograph fall colors when he found this arbor of trees on Shawan Road, at the site of Baltimore County's future Agricultural Center.
Christopher Walls of Owings Mills was returning from a trip… (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun )
September 21, 2014|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

It has begun to feel like fall, with schools in session and a chill in the air, but the season actually arrives at the moment of autumnal equinox at 10:29 p.m. Monday.

At that instant, Earth will be rotating upright on its axis, giving the northern and southern hemispheres equal sunlight and making the length of day and night roughly equal. In Baltimore, the sun will stay up for 12 hours or more until Friday.

It's the tilt of the Earth's axis that gives us seasons -- at the winter solstice, the axis is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun, and at the summer solstice, it's tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun.

Meteorological fall started Sept. 1, however, and it will end Nov. 30, three weeks before astronomical fall ends.

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