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Longer nights start this month

The country will experience longer nights beginning late this month.

“We are expecting such nights as the Sun by then will be moving past Earth’s equator and heading towards the Southern Hemisphere,” said space science chief Dario dela Cruz of the State-run Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration.

For this year, he said, the Sun will cross the equator on September 22 at 10:21 p.m. Dela Cruz expects nighttime to be longest at December 21 or 22.

Other areas in the Northern Hemisphere will also experience longer nights, he noted.

Nights will gradually shorten afterwards as the Sun moves past the equator from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere, Dela Cruz said.

Such solar movement, he said, will have the opposite effect in the Southern Hemisphere where nighttime then will increase.

Equinox is the moment when the Sun crosses Earth’s equator, during which the length of day and night is almost equal, noted dela Cruz.

He said equinoxes are normal astronomical events, and two equinoxes occur within a year – one in March and another in September.

March equinoxes mark the beginning of spring and autumn in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, respectively.

September equinoxes signal the start of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

For thousands of years, various cultures have celebrated the spring equinox as a time of rebirth and abundance.

Such cultures also attach deep spiritual meaning to autumn equinoxes. (PNA)