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The summer solstice has arrived



sun heat
DracoLumina17, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The summer solstice, often referred to as the “longest day of the year,” has arrived, signaling the official start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. On this day, the sun reaches its highest position in the sky, providing ample daylight and warmth to be celebrated and enjoyed by people across the globe.

According to the National Weather Service, the summer solstice marks the point when the Earth’s tilt toward the sun reaches its maximum, resulting in significant astronomical changes. On this special day, the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, and its noontime position remains relatively unchanged for several days both preceding and following the summer solstice.

The term “solstice” originates from the Latin words “sol,” meaning “Sun,” and “stitium,” meaning “standing.” During the summer solstice, an intriguing phenomenon occurs—the Sun’s path halts its northward movement each day and seems to “stand” motionless in the sky before changing direction. This unique occurrence captures the essence of the summer solstice and its significance in celestial observations.

While it is often referred to as the “longest day,” it does not correspond to the latest sunset or the earliest sunrise. The earliest sunrises occur before the solstice, while the latest sunset takes place after the solstice.

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