Equinox 2013: Jitters over planet, moon

By Garrett Williams, CNN • Updated 17th September 2011

The Equinox, one of the six planets in the mysterious and often confusing term “star system,” is revealing a brand new extreme threat.

The system’s transiting crescent moon caused worldwide panic when it passed the North American summer solstice early Wednesday. Reports of people staring at the entire sky in terror soon began emerging on Twitter, Facebook and in blogs worldwide.

Calls to NASA went unanswered when CNN attempted to speak with the Johnson Space Center in Houston. No live emergency broadcast from the famed location was available on the Internet.

Over at Reddit, a user known as CosmicGRAVITAS posted a photo showing the North American coast with the red arc of the Equinox ring lit up by the moon. The user also listed the percentage the moon is above its summer-solstice line, which meant that “the Equinox ring is at its lowest anywhere in the U.S.”

At least one world leader was concerned. Hours before the big event, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a press release on Twitter, saying, “The Equinox coincides with a cold front approaching from the west.”

“It is imperative to keep all indicators of high temperature below freezing. This precaution is essential for a long time as the system moves eastward and interacts with the subtropical cyclone in the Bay of Bengal.”

Fortunately, fears were misplaced. The Equinox passed just hours before the coming of autumn, along with the seasonal changes that come with it.

“What’s going on? Was a photo of the Equinox terrorizing people?” a CNN commenter asked.

“Seriously, what is going on? My back is cramping,” another wrote.

The moon passed the summer solstice in the Eastern Hemisphere Wednesday at 1:59 a.m. EDT, the longest day of the year for most of the globe. The date is six hours earlier than in the Western Hemisphere.

The Equinox, which occurs in the same part of the sky every year, marks the point in the universe where the sun, Earth and planets line up.

It falls roughly once every 365 days.

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