The 2019 fall equinox—also called the autumn equinox—takes place on Monday, September 23, 2019. |The fall equinox is not on the same day each year, though it always falls between September 21 and September 24. It marks the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. (The ...read more
The vernal equinox takes place on March 20 or March 21 and signals the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. During the vernal or spring equinox, the amount of daylight and darkness is nearly the same in length. (The word equinox comes from the Latin “aequus,” meaning ...read more
Why Do We Have Daylight Saving Time?
Many think that daylight saving time was conceived to give farmers an extra hour of sunlight to till their fields, but this is a common misconception. In fact, farmers have long been opposed to springing forward and falling back, since it throws off their usual harvesting ...read more
Who invented the zero?
It might seem like an obvious piece of any numerical system, but the zero is a surprisingly recent development in human history. In fact, this ubiquitous symbol for “nothing” didn’t even find its way to Europe until as late as the 12th century. Zero’s origins most likely date ...read more
How the Ancients Celebrated the Longest Day of the Year
Ancient Greeks According to certain iterations of the Greek calendar—they varied widely by region and era—the summer solstice was the first day of the year. Several festivals were held around this time, including Kronia, which celebrated the agriculture god Cronus. The strict ...read more
6 Things You May Not Know About the Gregorian Calendar
1. The original goal of the Gregorian calendar was to change the date of Easter. In 1582, when Pope Gregory XIII introduced his Gregorian calendar, Europe adhered to the Julian calendar, first implemented by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. Since the Roman emperor’s system miscalculated ...read more
8 Things You May Not Know About Daylight Saving Time
1. It’s “daylight saving time,” not “daylight savings time.” Many people render the term’s second word in its plural form. However, since the word “saving” acts as part of an adjective rather than a verb, the singular is grammatically correct. 2. Though in favor of maximizing ...read more