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Summer is my favourite time of year and on June 21st, many of us will be celebrating the ‘1st day of Summer’ – also known as the longest day of the year. This day is often referred to as either June Solstice / Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere.
A solstice happens when the sun’s zenith is at its furthest point from the equator. On the June solstice, it reaches its northernmost point and the Earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards the sun, at about 23.4 degrees and is the only day of the year when all locations inside the Arctic Circle experience a continuous period of daylight for 24 hours. ‘Solstice’ (Latin: ‘solstitium’) means ‘sun-stopping’. The point on the horizon where the sun appears to rise and set, stops and reverses direction after this day. On the solstice, the sun does not rise precisely in the east, but rises to the north of east and sets to the north of west, meaning it’s visible in the sky for a longer period of time.
Whilst the June solstice marks the 1st day of astronomical Summer, the meteorological definition of seasons is also used, making the solstice known as midsummer – because in the Northern Hemisphere the middle of Summer was the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvest. Wherever you are on the 21st, enjoy the day and in the meantime enjoy Artizian’s June edition of Scoop.