COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Fall officially begins this week in Central Ohio with the Autumnal Equinox.

The autumnal equinox this year is on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 2:21 p.m.

The equinox is when the equator receives equal amount of darkness and daylight, which signals the start of darker days ahead in the northern hemisphere and longer amounts of daylight coming in the southern hemisphere.

This shift toward shorter days leads to fall and winter in the norther hemisphere, which occurs because the earth is tilted on its axis at 23.5 degrees as it orbits around the sun.

Because of this tilt, the northern hemisphere experiences more hours with daylight during the summer months, less in the winter, and near equal twice a year.

In Columbus, we have a couple more days before we start to see more darkness than light. On September 25, the sun will be up for 12 hours and 1 minute, ahead of darker days. The first day of winter is marked by the winter solstice. This will be the darkest day of the year with only 9 hours and 20 minutes between sunrise and sunset.