The Autumnal Equinox marks the beginning of fall very early this morning at 2:50 AM EDT, the Sun directly above the equator. Sunrise tables show the length of the day about 12 hours and 10 minutes. Although the equinox is supposed to represent equal amounts of night and day, the Sun takes a few additional minutes to both rise and set, and the atmosphere “bends” the sun’s light, accounting for the extra time.

The waxing Gibbous Moon continues to grow larger and brighter in the evening skies, overwhelming the fainter stars, and leaving us to view the brighter stars, including those of the Summer Triangle. As the Moon crests due south at 8:00 PM, you’ll find the lowest in this trio of stars, Altair, well above the Moon.

At 8 o’clock this evening, the Gibbous Moon, well right of Saturn in the southeast, may appear slightly rounded where day meets night on our celestial neighbor, a line called the “terminus”, where the sunlight terminates. The shadows are at their greatest near this line, revealing the larger craters in binoculars, or a spotting scope.