Q: While this year’s autumnal equinox was at 4:44 p.m. on Sept. 22, I see that the sunrise and sunset times, as posted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, are not exactly 12 hours apart. On Sept. 25, they were the closest, with sunrise at 7:28 a.m. and sunset at 7:30 p.m. Did the equinox on Sept. 22 apply to Atlanta? If not, when will/did it occur?
— Bob Sullivan, Canton
A: The equinox is when the angle of the sun is directly over the equator. That happens twice a year, signaling the beginning of spring and fall, David Chandley, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist, told Q&A on the News in an email. “At that moment, there is equal amount of daylight and darkness,” he wrote. “However, sunrise and sunset times do not match up.” Sunrise is when the first part of the sun is visible over the horizon, and sunset is when the last part of the sun disappears over the horizon. “On the equinox, this takes longer than 12 hours,” Chandley wrote. Atlanta’s sunrise and sunset times were listed as 12 hours apart — 7:29 a.m. and 7:29 p.m. — for Sept. 26.
Q: Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson both were on the platform with Vice President Joe Biden at the Savannah port news conference last week. Why was Gov. Nathan Deal not included?
— Fred Smith, Tucker
A: Deal’s office cited a scheduling conflict as the reason for his absence during Biden’s visit and news conference. Biden gave his endorsement for a proposed dredging project that would deepen the Savannah River and harbor from 42 to 47 feet.
Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email email@example.com (include name, phone and city).