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The Science of Seasons


September 22, 2011

You may have noticed the sun dipping below the horizon a little earlier recently. That’s because it’s nearly time for the autumnal equinox – sometimes called the September equinox – which occurs this year on the morning of Sept. 23. An equinox is when the sun appears directly over Earth's equator, resulting in nearly equal lengths of day and night. They only happen twice per year!

As our way of welcoming the new season, we’ve gathered some of our favorite season-themed features. And we’re inviting you to participate by sharing your photos and thoughts about what the changing seasons are like where you live. Check out the Join the Conversation box (left) to start sharing.

seasons slideshow

The Change of the Seasons

This slideshow features views of changing seasons across the globe as seen by NASA satellites orbiting Earth.


› View slideshow

share your seasonal photos

Share Your Seasonal Photos

What do the changing seasons look like on your side of the planet? Learn how you can share your photos on our Flickr page.


› Share your photos

seasons on other planets

Planetary Seasons

Every planet in the solar system has seasons, but they're very different than the seasons on Earth. Discover the unique changes each planet undergoes as it makes its orbit around the sun.


› Learn more

fall is aurora season

Fall is Aurora Season

The start of fall brings with it one of the greatest natural spectacles on Earth: the Northern Lights. This podcast highlights the science of auroras and how you can spot them in the sky.


› Learn more