Peoria (WEEK) – They say that rules were meant to be broken, but does that include the laws of nature?
Today is the fall equinox, which is the moment when earth’s axis is neither tilted toward or away from the sun. Some say that this special alignment of earth’s axis can allow for some funky things to happen today, but is that true?
Director of the Planetarium Renae Kerrigan says, “The most common question I get that makes me think of a myth related to the fall equinox is people asking about balancing an egg or a broom on its end. So there’s this idea that only on the equinoxes in the spring and the fall you could balance an egg or a broom on its end.”
Kerrigan assured us that balancing and egg or a broom does not have anything to do with the autumnal equinox. She also debunked the myth about your shadow disappearing on the equinoxes as well.
She explained, “You may not see your shadow, simply because the sun is right above you and you’re simply not casting a shadow. But that doesn’t really have too much to do with the equinox. That would happen any day you are able to look when the sun is directly overhead.”
As far as the myth that everywhere has 12 hours of daytime and 12 hours of nighttime, that is true, except they do not all occur on the same exact day. For example, the Peoria area will see their equinox on Saturday. The universal moment in which the sun was directly overhead the equator occurred at 2:20 PM central time today, which signaled the start of fall.
At the end of the day, balancing an egg or a broom means that you might be a good entertainer or good at physics, but it has nothing to do with the equinox. Gravity will always be gravity, and it doesn’t change during the equinox. Lastly, despite the name, not everyone will see equal day and night today. We will have our equal time on Saturday.