WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Astronomical Fall is quickly approaching and that means the Autumnal Equinox will take place. Does that mean we will experience equal day and night here in Ohio and West Virginia on September 23rd? Not really….

First off, the root of the term equinox is Latin and means equal night, which often gives off the impression we will experience equal day and night. This oftentimes is not the case due to the understanding of when the sunrises and sets and our position on Earth.

A look at the Earth’s tilt on the Autumnal Equinox.

On the equinox itself, the tilt of the Earth is perpendicular to the Sun’s rays.

We also have to account for when sunrise and sunset if officially defined as.

Sunrise and sunset are defined as the arrival and disappearance on the eastern and western horizon as a result of the Earth’s rotation.

With that understanding in mind, we will not see near equal day and night within the Ohio Valley until September 26th.

Day Length chart for the Ohio Valley.

The Autumnal Equinox is on Saturday September, 23rd where we will see 12 hours, seven minutes, and 21 seconds of daylength and night will be 11 hours, 52 minutes, and 39 seconds.

Our closest day to equal day and night is Tuesday September 26th, when we experience 11 hours, 59 minutes, and 30 seconds of daytime. While nighttime will be 12 hours and 30 seconds.

September 26th is actually called the equilux, the true date when we have near equal day and night. Any locations equilux is dependant on the latitude at which you live.

For a list of Fall activities happening in the Ohio Valley, click here!