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The Autumnal Equinox … FROM SPACE!

A few days ago—Sunday at 20:44 UTC (4:44 p.m. EDT), to be exact—was the moment of the autumnal equinox. There are a number of ways to explain this, though the definition is that it’s the moment the center of the Sun’s disk has a declination of zero degrees when it’s...
  • Marta Rauch

    The Autumnal Equinox… FROM SPACE! Courtesy Phil Plait,

  • Star Chaser

    Equinox Earth Image Credit: Roscosmos / NTSOMZ / Courtesy: Igor Tirsky,Vitaliy Egorov Explanation: From a geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometers above the equator,Russian meteorological satellite Elektro-L takes high-resolution images of our fair planet every 30 minutes. But only twice a year,during an Equinox,can it capture an image like this one,showing an entire hemisphere bathed in sunlight. At an Equinox, the Earth's axis of rotation is not tilted toward or away from the Sun,so the solar illumination can extend to both the planet's poles. Of course,this Elektro-L picture was recorded on September 22nd,at the northern hemisphere's autumnal equinox. For a moment on that date,the Sun was behind the geostationary satellite and a telltale glint of reflected sunlight is seen crossing the equator,at the location on the planet with satellite and sun directly overhead (5MB animated gif).

  • Olivia Sild

    Planet earth viewed from space

  • Emma B. Samuel

    Here is a great picture of me and Orlando Bloom, Aidan Turner, and Dean O'Gorman together. Aren't we so cute?//// just thought this was so funny

  • Blooloop

    #Equinox #Earth. From the Russian meteorological #satellite Elektro-L. #space #planet #astronomy

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