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Longer nights ahead

Ghio Ong, Helen Flores - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Nights will be longer after the autumnal equinox takes place today.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the length of day and night is equal during the autumnal equinox.

“Hence, thereafter, Philippine nights will be longer as the sun moves below the celestial equator toward the southern hemisphere,” PAGASA said.

The autumn equinox occurs every year in September when the sun passes the celestial equator in a southward direction.

The earth tilts upward on its axis, exposing the countries below the equator to more sun and those above it to less sun.

This astronomical event signifies the approach of winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere, PAGASA said.

In countries like Iran, Japan and the Koreas, bank holidays and public festivals take place to mark the autumnal equinox.

This date also had great significance in ancient Rome. Romans celebrated the autumn equinox to praise Pomona, the goddess of fruitful abundance and growth.

ASTRONOMICAL

AUTUMNAL

EQUATOR

EQUINOX

GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

HEMISPHERE

JAPAN AND THE KOREAS

PAGASA

PHILIPPINE ATMOSPHERIC

SUN

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