Signs of the Seasons: October

Please Report
Your Sightings!

From the Tropics in Mexico to the Arctic latitudes, people reported their daylight on the Equinox! Explore the results. Mark your calendar to report daylength. Show us what seasonal change looks like outside your window.

This Update Includes:

fall scenes

Signs of Fall Captured Outside the Window.
What's outside YOURS?

Sunlight: What Happens on the Equinox?

An equinox occurs when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, and the Sun shines directly on the Earth's equator. This happens twice a year.

The Results are In! — Equal Days and Nights?
Are the days and nights equal on the Equinox? We often think of the term equinox as equal day and equal night. Is this true?

Explore the Season Simulator
Explore the relationship between sunlight and seasonal change with the Season Simulator.

Take some time to explore, then set the date bar at the bottom of the simulator to the time of the fall equinox in North America (September 23). What happens when you change the date?


equinox map

photoperiod worksheet

Season simulator
Season Simulator

Explore Sunlight: Report to the Map

Mark your calendars. On the first day of each month, and on each equinox and solstice, report your photoperiod data to the Sunlight and the Seasons map.

Report Any Time for These Dates
It's fine to submit your report any time! Just be sure to report the photoperiod just for these dates:

  • Equinox (September 23)
  • October 1
  • November 1
  • December 1
  • Solstice (December 22)
  • February 1
  • March 1
  • Equinox (March 20)
  • April 1
  • May 1
  • June 1
  • Solstice (June 20)

Sunlight and the Seasons: Map of Day Length around the Globe
Sunlight and the Seasons
Explore Changes in Day Length



Tip: Watch for this monthly reminder to post your photoperiod.

Signs of Fall: Post a Picture

New: Capture and share pictures of your signs of the season!
Capture signs of fall outside your window. Now you can share your observations and upload a picture
of what you're seeing. Try it!

  • Naples, Italy
    It's a time for nuts. The hazelnuts are being ground into NUTELLA.Chestnuts fall in their very prickly skins called pericarps, and are difficult to hold in one's hands... See more Italian signs of fall.
  • Plymouth, Michigan
    Burning bush is starting to turn red! Sugar maple is also starting to change colors!
  • Gowganda, Ontario
    The air is crisp, the winds cooler, even when it is 20C. There is a different smell in the air.
  • Laredo, Texas
    Spotted this beautiful monarch while I was watering my flowers this morning!
  • Canton, Ohio
    Sept. 1,2,3 we had countless thousands of dragonflies at our farm. They glittered like fairies in the setting sun!
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
    We have noticed how pretty the leaves are becoming. They are turning yellow, red, and brown. Some are starting to fall off the trees as well.
  • Schnecksville, Pennsylvania
    Today and yesterday there have been many robins flocked in my yard.

photo upload

Chestnuts ripen in Italy

ruby meadowhawk dragonfly
Thousands of dragonflies in Ohio
(Ruby Meadowhawk dragonfly)

Signs and the Seasons for November: A reminder will be posted on November 1, 2011