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Tuesday’s Fenwick Island, DE Equinox: Other than As Advertised

Tuesday marks the end of summer and the onset of autumn in Fenwick Island, DE—the day astrophysicists and TV weather forecasters like to refer to as “the autumnal equinox.” After the equinox, since Fenwick Island, DE lies in the Northern Hemisphere, our nights become increasingly longer than our days. This continues until the winter solstice (this year, Fenwick Island, DE’s solstice comes on December 21). That will mark the shortest day of the year—when the night/day lengths do an about-face and autumn officially comes to an end.

You can tell just by looking at that word, “equinox,” that it is supposed to signify something being equal—and the chances are pretty good that someone like your 7th-grade science teacher explained that the hours of daylight and darkness equalize at the equinox. (There are two equinoxes—the other being the vernal [spring] equinox, of course—but let’s not make this any more complicated than it needs to be).

So, since everybody trusts their 7th-grade science teacher, and since there are 24 hours in a day, you would expect that this Tuesday Fenwick Island, DE’s sunset would happen exactly 12 hours after sunrise. But if you look it up, the tables say otherwise. And in fact, if the weather allows us to check out the sunrise and sunset on Tuesday, the 12-hour idea will be a few minutes off. Across the U.S., those daytime and nighttime hours never actually equal out until days later: Friday (in the northern states) to Sunday (in Florida).

If you find this disappointingly—unscientifically—imprecise, the explanations probably won’t make you feel much better. If you look up a site like sciencing.com, you’ll confirm that not only are the dates for equal day and nighttime hours “other than the actual equinox date at higher latitudes” (Fenwick Island, DE’s latitude certainly qualifies)—but, worse yet, “equality never happens at the equator.” The reasons given have to do with the sun “being visible before it rises and after it sets because of refraction of light through the atmosphere” and “the sun’s orb having angular extension in the sky.” In other words, the scientists don’t want us to be able to figure out what they’re talking about.

The good thing about this particular equinox is that it marks the beginning of autumn in Fenwick Island, DE—a favorite time of the year for everyone who looks forward to Thanksgiving, Halloween, or the onset of holiday music. This year, fall also looks to be a most opportune time to take advantage of this year’s delayed home buying and selling season—so give me a call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at russellstucki@remax.net, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.