What Is the Summer Solstice?

What Is the Summer Solstice?

The summer solstice will happen this year on Saturday, June 21 and that means it will be the longest day of the year but what exactly is the summer solstice? What it means is that all through the day on Saturday the Earth will have the Sun’s rays directly beaming down on the tropical latitude line. In other words, that means the Northern Hemisphere for those that live in it and the Earth will have reached one of its four major moving points of the year during its annual trip around the Sun.

There are two solstices through the year, one in June and the other in December. One takes place when the Earth’s axis tilts toward the sun and the other is when it tilts away. This means that while the Northern Hemisphere is enjoying summer, the Southern Hemisphere is welcoming wintertime and will be having the shortest day of the year on Saturday. The roles reverse in December.

Due to the Earth’s tilt of 23.4 degrees in its orbit, the noon Sun appears to rise and fall in the sky over the course of a year. The two solstice extremes are when the Sun seems to stand still. In fact the word solstice is derived from the Latin word for sun stationary.

The summer solstice sunrise will come at approximately 4.52 a.m. Saturday morning, so the day will start early for anyone looking forward to watching the event. If anyone happens to be in the United Kingdom, they can celebrate the Sum coming up at Stonehenge. Its yearly solstice celebration will be going on, with individuals taking in the beauty of both the sunset and sunrise on both Friday and Saturday. However it is always fun to just stay right where a person lives and move to an area where he or she has a good view of watching the Sun set and rise. There is no need to travel any great distance.

Numerous people wonder why if the summer solstice happens on June 21, how come it takes a month or two before the hottest days of summer to show up? This is due to the fact it takes the Earth some time to heat up in summer and turn cold in winter. Each one of Earth’s seasons is delayed approximately six weeks behind the dates that show up on the calendar. While most people believe the solstices mean the beginning of summer and winter, in actuality, they denote the midpoint of every season, even if it does not feel that way. That fact is unknown to the majority of people.

The summer solstice will happen this year on Saturday, June 21 and it is the longest day of the year. That means on this entire day the Earth will have the Sun’s rays directly beaming down on the tropical latitude line. In other words, they will be hitting the Northern Hemisphere for those that live in it and the Earth will have reached one of its four major moving points of the year during its annual trip around the Sun.

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

The Huffington Post

Space News

NewsMax

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