June Solstice

When is the June Solstice?

June Solstice is an event that occurs in the northern hemisphere annually on between June 20th and June 22nd. On this day, the sun is pointed directly at the Tropic of Cancer, and it is also furthest away from the equator. The holiday most often falls on June 21st, which is the date recognized in 2013. It falls in line with the Gregorian calendar, and the exact date is dependent upon the Earth’s axis. While the June Solstice is a holiday scientific in nature, it is also an official mark of a change in seasons to many.

The Science

Earth moves and tilts around the sun constantly. During certain points of the year, these tilts on the earth’s axis makes changes in regards to the direction of the sun’s rays. As a result, seasons change, along with the amount of daylight and surface temperatures.

June Solstice occurs when the sun’s rays point at the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere. This makes the northern hemisphere shift closer to the sun, thereby creating the summer season. The southern hemisphere is shifted further away from the sun during this type of tilt, which is why both hemispheres have different summers and winters.

This holiday most often occurs on June 21st. Certain changes in the calendar combined with slight shifts in the Earth’s axis can make the date vary occasionally. June 22nd is the least common date of the holiday—the June solstice is not expected to take place on June 22nd again until 2203.

Effects

In the United States, June Solstice is also known as the summer solstice or northern solstice. The way that Earth is positioned on this day marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. This is also the longest day of the year on this part of Earth, with over 12 hours of sunlight seen on average.

The exact length of the day depends on the sun’s position near the equator. Since the sun is furthest away from the equator on this day, that means people living in tropical regions might see shorter days than those who live north. In fact, people who live near the Arctic Circle experience 24 hours of daylight, due to the sun’s position at the Tropic of Cancer.

June Solstice presents the opposite effects for people living in the southern hemisphere. On this date, it is the shortest day of the year with fewest hours of sunlight. Also, June Solstice marks the beginning of winter in the southern hemisphere.

Celebrations

The celebrations of June Solstice depend on where you live. For the United States and other countries in the northern hemisphere, June Solstice is the official mark of summer. Since it is the longest day of the year, many people celebrate by staying outdoors longer. Examples include boating, pool parties and barbeques.

In the southern hemisphere, June Solstice brings about different types of celebrations. Since it is the official start of winter here, people celebrate with cool weather activities. If there is already snow on the ground, then citizens are likely to take on related activities—however, since the day is shorter, the time outdoors may also be cut short as well.




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