#CelebrateWithDE – Autumnal Equinox

Twice a year, for one day in spring and one day in autumn, the sun’s rays strike the earth directly at the equator. This causes daylight and nighttime to last for exactly the same amount of time (12 hours) on those two days. The event is called equinox, which is Latin for equal night. Build on the excitement about the total solar eclipse and the earth’s trips around the sun by studying and celebrating the Autumnal Equinox on September 22, 2017.


A few short videos and an animation provide a solid explanation of the phenomenon that is equinox. Challenge your students to learn the details conveyed in the resources and develop a script to accompany the visuals. Using Spotlight on Strategies: Filling the Silence, have the students add their own narration to a video or the animation, explaining equinox in their own words. If your students have never been introduced to equinox, allow them to watch the video once before attempting to write a script; if they are familiar with the concept, challenge them to only watch the video without sound and check their understanding after the first draft is written.
Movements Around the Sun
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook
Grades 3-5, 6-8, Video Segment

Describes the motion of the earth around the sun and the ways in which this motion and tilt of the earth’s axis cause different seasons to occur in the northern and southern hemispheres. The program discusses the revolution and rotation of the earth, the solstices and equinoxes, and solar eclipses.
Autumnal Equinox Explained: Fall Begins with the Arrival of Autumnal Equinox
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook
Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Full Video

The transition from summer to autumn does not officially begin until the autumnal equinox. The planet orbits the sun at a titled angle of approximately 23.5 degrees, and it is this tilt that determines the seasons.
(Canadian Version)
Science Techbook
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Full Video

An equinox occurs when daylight and nighttime each last 12 hours everywhere on Earth. This animation demonstrates the rotation and revolution of the earth in relation to the sun.


Now that your students know the autumnal equinox marks the beginning of longer nights, give them some time to celebrate those hours of darkness with these night-specific resources from 24 Hours on Earth: Episode 02 [Streaming, Grades 6-12, Full Video, 49:51]
Turtle Eggs
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Video Segment

Venturing out of the water only once the last rays of sun have disappeared, turtles dig holes in the sand for hundreds of eggs.
Glowing Hunter
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Video Segment

Follow the nocturnal scorpion as she hunts at night, her armor glowing due to an interaction between its fluorescent chemicals and the moon’s ultraviolet light.
Night Vision
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Video Segment

Darkness is relative for geckos as they can see the forest clearly at nighttime because their eyes are highly sensitive to light.


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One Comment;

  1. lolnexus said:

    Thank you for bringing more information to this topic for me. I’m truly grateful and really impressed. Absolutely this article is incredible. And it is so beautiful

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