The Urban Scientist

Urban Scientist’s Happenings Week of September 19

The autumnal equinox will occur for New Yorkers on September 22nd at 11:09 p.m.

September 22, 2010

So what is the equinox, exactly? Not to be confused with the solstice — which is the shortest day of the year in the winter and the longest day of the year in summer — the equinox is the twice a year event when the sun is aligned perpendicularly with the equator.

That means for that moment, high noon really means high noon (if it’s actually occurring at noon in your time zone), and that your summer is officially over, if you’re in the northern hemisphere. After the autumnal equinox, the sun gives preferential treatment to the southern hemisphere, leaving us cold in the north half as the days grow shorter and shorter, until they just can’t get any shorter. Then, the winter solstice happens, the sun shows favor to us northerners again, and we start to get ready for spring. But that’s all a long ways off.

In the meantime, leaves are changing, students are getting into the swing of the semester, and everyone seems to be getting more serious as they adjust to the cooling temperatures.

Speaking of cooling temperatures, it’s Climate Week in New York City. According to the organization’s website, “Business, government and NGOs gather in New York City to call for bold climate action that will secure a cleaner, greener, more prosperous future for all.” The Climate Change Adaptation In & Around NYC talk, co-sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences on Thursday, looks particularly interesting.

The NYAS has a bunch of other events this week, starting with Christiane Northrup discussing the link between health and pleasure on Tuesday, a Nobel laureate talking about nerve cell development on Wednesday, and a weekend focused on “Women, Power, and Aging” at Pace University.

If you want to go to the The American Museum of Natural History this Thursday, don’t. It’s closed for a United Nations event. But there’s a Sleepover on Friday, an expedition to the Kaaterskill Falls for a Garlic Festival on Saturday, and a workshop on the geology of Northern Central Park on Sunday.

NYC Resistor has its regular craft night on Thursday, or you can opt for the “Ask a Hacker” night at AlphaOne Labs that same night.

Whatever you do this week, don’t miss the World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science this Saturday and Sunday. There’s going to be a 3D Printing Village, a workshop on turning your trash into a radio-controlled plane, a how-to on growing tomatoes in your tiny sun-starved apartment, and a Lifesize Mousestrap. And that’s just the beginning.

About the Author

Olivia Koski

Olivia Koski was born in the desert and raised in the mountains. After studying physics in college, she earned a living manipulating light for an aerospace company. She abandoned saguaros, pine trees and lasers for the skyscrapers of New York City, where she is studying the fine art of manipulating words, sound and images as a journalist. Visit her website at or follow her on Twitter at


1 Comment

Eldi says:

– Betsy,I’m beginning to reaizle you CAN get to know someone who is 1000 miles away through what they write on their blogs. By sharing emotions, struggles, joys, achievements, and failures you help us get our minds off of ourselves for a little bit and we all know we can use help with that. You help me want to take more pictures and care less about how dusty my house is, to stop and savor the sunshine instead of pay attention to the to do list. My husband has told me time and time again to play with Sierra instead of rushing to get the house clean because we all know how fast kids grow up. I know you’ve mentioned this a few times yourself too.As for what I like about your blog, I would have to say the day to day posted in Our Life posts get me most excited. Just getting a peek into your life and how you handle a certain situation inspires me. Like decorating for the 1st day of school. That’s something I want to do for my kids.And the quote? Well, let’s just say as Christians, it’s a common one, but boy does it ever bring me peace and helps me to trust. God never gives you more than you can handle . Betsy, as you’ve gone through sickness and surgery, surely you can testify that this quote is true and that He is always there, lightening our load, when we feel we will surely break. Much Love,Erin

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