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Sky Caramba

Of eggs and equinoxes

15 Sep 2013, 00:00 UTC
Of eggs and equinoxes
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¡SkyCaramba! Weekly astronomy blog for the week ending September 21, 2013
The September equinox occurs on the 22nd at 20:45 Universal Time. This is when the sun crosses the equator. It’s moving south. Surely, you’ve already noticed the amount of daylight shortening if you live in the northern hemisphere. Those south of the equator are getting longer days and shorter nights.
There’s a popular legend that only during an equinox can an egg be stood on its end. The usual tale purports that it must be during the March equinox. It make claims about various natural forces aligning to make this feat possible only at that time, however, it falls short of explaining why the same thing supposedly can’t be done during the September equinox.
Well, if you have access to an egg you can find out for yourself. A chicken egg is said to be the best for this experiment. They’re the most widely available and the most cooperative. It may take you a few tries. But if you have a steady enough hand and you try this on a sturdy enough surface, you should be able to make the egg stand on one end or the other. Maybe ...

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