In Latin, 'Sol' means Sun, and the word 'Solstice' means sun-stopping. This is a point on the horizon where the Sun seems to rise and then stop. After this day, the Sun reverses its direction. On Solstice, the Sun does not rise precisely in the east. It rises a bit north of east and then sets a bit north of west. This makes it appear for a longer time than any other day.
The June Summer Solstice marks the first day of summer in the astronomical calendar. But in meteorological definitions, Solstice becomes mid-summer or mid-winter. The day is June 21st, and it marks the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. Here are a few amazing facts about the Solstice.
1. Summer & Winter Solstice
In the Northern Hemisphere, it is called the summer solstice, based on the longest day of the year because of the daylight. But in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the winter and the year's longest night, Hence the Winter Solstice.
2. First Solstice of the Year
Solstices occur twice a year, once in June and Once in December. In the June Solstice, the Sun aligns directly over the tropic of Cancer. In the Winter solstice, the Sun aligns directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. Both Solstices occur on the 21st of both months.
3. It occurs at the same time around the world
The Solstice is to occur all around the world when the Sun is directly over the tropic of Cancer. This will be precisely at 3:32 UTC in 2021.
4. It can shift days
The Summer Solstice can shift its date from 21st to 20th or 22nd. However, this is a very rare occurrence. The rarest are June 22nd Solstices. The last June 22nd Solstice occurred in 1975, and another one is not predicted before 2203.
5. The Earth Is Farthest from the Sun
You might believe that as it is summer in the Northern hemisphere, due to the tilt of the Earth, it must be the closest to the Sun. But it is actually the opposite. The Earth is actually the farthest from the Sun in the June Solstice and will be on its Aphelion a few weeks after the June Solstice.
6. It is Not the Earliest Sunrise
As it is undoubtedly the longest day, one might expect the sunrise to be the earliest in the year as well. But for most places on the Earth, this is not true. In fact, the earliest sunrise occurs a few days before it, and the latest sunset occurs after it too!
We hope you learned a few new things about the June Solstice because of us. It is a crazy world we live in, and these natural phenomena's are always fascinating. Share with us your favorite natural occurrence in the comments below!
Posted in Nature by Leah Weinstock