WHEN IS THE SUMMER SOLSTICE?
This year, the June solstice falls on Thursday, June 21, 2018 in all U.S. and Canada time zones, specifically at 6:07 A.M. EDT.
|Year||Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere)|
|2018||Thursday, June 21|
|2019||Friday, June 21|
|2020||Saturday, June 20|
WHAT IS THE SUMMER SOLSTICE?
The timing of the solstice is not based on a specific calendar date and time. It depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator.
The word solstice comes from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).
In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer.
This summer solstice is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year.
It’s fun to share little-known facts about the Sun. For example, not many are aware that the kind of energy the Sun emits most strongly is not ultraviolet, or gamma rays, or even visible light. It’s actually infra-red. That’s the Sun’s strongest emission. The kind we feel as heat.
As for the Sun’s visible emissions, its strongest is: Green light. That’s why our eyes are maximally sensitive to that color.
MORE SOLSTICE FACTS
- The solstice Sun stands directly over the Tropic of Cancer. In fact, that’s how the topic of cancer got its name. It’s the southernmost line connecting all places on Earth where the Sun is ever straight up. That’s because a few thousand years ago, the solstice happened when the Sun was in the constellation of Cancer the Crab. Thanks to the wobble of our axis, the Sun is in the constellation of Taurus the Bull. So somebody should go down there and change all the signs to Tropic of Taurus.
- This solstice is when folks in the Northern Hemisphere see the highest Sun of the year. But it’s getting less high over time. That’s because Earth’s tilt is slowly decreasing.
- The solstice is when the Sun is lowest in the sky for those at the equator.
- The word solstice comes from the two Latin words “sun” and “stoppage.” Makes sense: the Sun stops moving north that day.
- In India, the summer solstice ends the six-month period when spiritual growth is supposedly easiest. Better hurry, you only have a few days left.
- That day, the Sun rises farthest left on the horizon, and sets at its rightmost possible spot. Sunlight strikes places in your rooms that get illuminated at no other time.