It happens every year! As the Earth goes about its orbit around the Sun, the seasons change from Winter to Spring, Summer to Fall, then over and over again.
The Fall season, which signals the harvest, a return to school as well as a host of other events officially starts at 4:51 am Central Time, Sunday September 23rd. On that day the Sun will be directly over the Equator on its annual trek south. Although the Sun will be over the Equator next Sunday, it does not mean exactly equal measures of night and day for our region. Due to a variety of earthly and astronomical circumstances, the days with equal amounts of day and night are a few days after the Autumnal Equinox. For example, Grand Forks will have approximately 12 hours of night and day on September 25th, when sunrise will be at 6:19 am and sunset will be at 6:20 pm.
Below is a table of sunrise and sunset for selected cities in our area. Much more information is available at the U.S. Naval Observatory web site.
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Sunday, September 23, 2007 (all times CDT) this day is Autumnal Equinox.
City Sunrise Sunset
Devils Lake, ND 7:22 AM 7:34 PM
Fargo, ND 7:14 AM 7:25 PM
Grand Forks, ND 7:14 AM 7:26 PM
Bemidji, MN 7:06 AM 7:18 PM
Detroit Lakes, MN 7:10 AM 7:22 PM
Fergus Falls, MN 7:11 AM 7:22 PM
Roseau, MN 7:10 AM 7:22 PM
The data listed in the above table is provided courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory, the official, "preeminent authority in the areas of Precise Time and Astrometry, and distributes Earth Orientation parameters and other Astronomical Data required for accurate navigation and fundamental astronomy."