Los Angeles

Fall for a Free Equinox Talk at Griffith Observatory

There are two events, one at local noon and one at sundown, at the sky-looking landmark.

What to Know

  • Saturday, Sept. 22
  • 12:40 p.m. and 6:35 p.m.
  • Free

Leaf your fall foliage daydreams aside for one second and hear us out: The start of autumn in Southern California isn't signalled by the nearest oak or liquidambar suddenly dropping all of its colorful cover.

Nope. Color will come, probably around November-ish, which means we need to look to other spots that signal that fall has arrived, here and everywhere in this hemisphere.

A main Los Angeles location to do just that? Why Griffith Observatory, of course, which greets each solstice and equinox with a pair of free talks. Unless, that is, the solstice or equinox is on a Monday, when the astronomy-awesome institution, which has been a Griffith Park mainstay for well over 80 years, is closed.

It will definitely not be closed on Saturday, Sept. 22, which is when autumn begins. 

So leaf your weekend errands to another day — er, leave, we mean — and head up the hill at local noon or sundown, to learn all of the fascainating equinox-related tidbits that observatory staffers have to impart. 

Local noon, by the by, is not noon-noon, as we understand it, but rather when "the Sun is at its highest point in the sky." It will actually arrive later in the noon hour on Sept. 22, at 12:40 p.m., so enjoy a wholesome, fortifying lunch first to make sure you're alert and eager to absorb the midday talk. 

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The Gottlieb Transit Corridor is your local noon meet-up spot while the West Terrace is what's up for the sundown event (that's at 6:35 p.m., just minutes before autumn actually arrives in our time zone).

So break out the cider, the pumpkins, and your desire to take a deep dive into our nearest star's crossing of the celestial equator, and other equinox-related matters.

For the fall season is upon our doorstep, regardless of what the trees are currently telling us.

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