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Fun Facts About Fall: Celebrating Autumn

written by: P. Andrew Powe • edited by: Noreen Gunnell • updated: 9/11/2012

Fall is a beautiful time of year with crisp cool air, colorful leaves and a harvest of plentiful vegetables. But do we know the scientific reasons behind the changing of the seasons? Learn some cool facts about autumn here!

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    A Season of Color

    The season of autumn can provide students with some very interesting weather and social event facts that they can use for science and social studies reports. There are many different changes that occur in the fall giving students much to learn and write about. Get your research started with these cool facts on fall.

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    The Dates of Autumn

    There is no fixed time period for the season of Autumn. It can shift from year to year. This is because the earth's orbit is not perfect. Although most people are not aware of it, the first day and last day of autumn generally shift about 24 hours every year. The beginning of Fall generally falls between September 21 and September 23 depending on the year. This day is known as the fall equinox. On this day the amount of sun and the amount of night are equal, which is the same as the Spring equinox. The last day of Autumn falls on December 21 to December 23.

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    Standing an Egg

    There are only two days of the year when you can stand an egg on end. One of these days falls on the first day of autumn. To do this you will need and egg. It does not have to be hard-boiled. Place the egg on a hard flat surface on its largest end. Carefully pull your hands away and it should remain upright. This can only be done on the spring and fall equinox.

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    Why Do Leaves Fall Off

    Leaves are the energy generators for plants. By using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide and chlorophyll they create food for the tree. The trees then pass oxygen into the air. The reason that the leaves change color is due to the shortening of the days. As this occurs the leaves begin to produce less chlorophyl and change color. Many people think that the leaves turn color but this is not true. The leaves are actually the colors we see in the fall. The reason that the leaves are green is because they are full of chlorophyll.

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    Thanksgiving

    The American holiday of Thanksgiving always comes in November. despite the amount of weeks in the month of November Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of the month. This becomes interesting because it can actually affect the Christmas shopping season. If the Month only has four Thursdays the traditional Christmas season can be reduced up to six days for that season. But just as it shortens the shopping season it can also ass the same amount of days.

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    Animals Hibernate

    Toward the end of the season, depending on where you live, mammals and reptiles will begin to prepare for the winter. Animals such as bears, groundhogs and other small mammals will fatten up for the long winter months. They will select a secluded place where they will be able to stay warm and dry and then sleep through cold months when food is scarce. many cold-blooded reptiles will perform the same act. Frogs and snake will find a warm comfortable spot and sleep until the spring thaw. Certain birds are also migratory and will begin to move south as the weather cools the water and causes plants that they use as food to die off. As the lakes in the north freeze Canadian Geese will leave their summer homes in Canada and use one of the many flight ways in the United States to reach warmer climates.

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    Comfort for Allergy Sufferers

    Many people suffer from allergies that are based on pollen and mold spores from plants. As the plants slow down their creation of chlorophyll they also reduce the number of spores and pollen they create. This alleviates the potential for more severe allergy attacks. It is generally felt that the first hard frost kills the leaves completely and stops all production of spores and pollen. The ushering of the cool weather is a sign of relief for those who suffer from allergies.

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    It Is Not Fall All Over the World

    The earth is tilted on its axis and that is what gives us our traditional four seasons. It is because of this tilt that not all area's of the earth experience the autumn in the same months. In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa The months of September, October and November are actually spring. This is because the tilt of the earth causes these regions to actually be closer to the sun. In the Northern Hemisphere the sun's rays are not hitting the planet as direct as they do in the south.

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    Harvest Festivals

    Fall is the time of harvest for communities in the northern hemisphere. Depending on where you are located there is usually some sort of fall festival that occurs. One tradition is the Thanksgiving tradition in the United States. One of the other well-known festivals is the German Oktober Fest. the entire month of October is dedicated to celebrating the harvest. The largest of these festivals is held in Munich Germany. The fruits of the harvest are eaten and displayed along with the eating of certain types of sausages that are aged through the summer.

References

  • Image: Autumn Colors in Swanholme Lake by SK9468 BY CC 2.0 http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/622243
  • Carbone, Gregory. "Exercises for Weather and Climate" Prentice Hall, 2009.
  • Aguado, Edward and Burt, James. "Understanding Ceather and Climate". Prentice Hall, 2009.