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Essay in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2018; (cited in BAE 2015, 2016); PUSHCART poetry finalist

Perhaps most famously, the ancient monument Stonehenge has for some time been the centre of a ritual celebration. This comes from the fact the stones are lined up to frame the rising of the Sun on the solstice, perhaps suggesting a connection to the day and as a celebration of Sun. The stones also mark the position of sunset on the winter solstice, and so may instead indicate a place to request the return of the summer months.

In any case, many modern day religions gather at the site to mark the occasion: it is also one of the rare times visitors are allowed to walk right up to the stones themselves. In the southern hemisphere, where the summer solstice occurs in December, the day is instead strongly associated with Christmas, having once been the day of its celebration until various calendar changes shifted the dates apart.

At two points in the year the Sun will illuminate the Northern and Southern Hemispheres equally.

solstice | Definition & Facts |

On these dates, there are approximately equal hours of daylight and darkness. The spring equinox occurs in March. In the autumnal equinox will occur on 22 September at 1. This is why we have a leap year every four years to add another day to our calendar.

June Solstice: Longest and Shortest Day of the Year

For the same reason the precise time of the equinoxes are not the same each year. Generally they will occur about six hours later each year, with a jump of a day backwards on leap years. Find out more about the largest international competition of its kind. The aim was to capture the path of the sun each day between the winter and summer solstices.

What is a Solstice?

As the photographic exposure of six months was so long, the result was not processed using usual dark room methods, instead it was processed digitally. The tilt of the Earth produces the seasons, including the changes in weather associated with them. When the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, it receives more direct sunlight and for a longer portion of the day, so the temperature increases. Similarly in winter, the reduction in sunlight hours and more glancing angle to the Sun means the air remains colder.

An astronomer’s guide to the summer solstice

However, just as with the air in your home, the atmosphere and, more importantly, the oceans take time to heat up. This means that even though the solstice marks the longest or shortest days and the most direct or indirect sunlight , there is a considerable lag between that and the peak of warm or cold weather.

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However, astronomical summer can either begin on the solstice, or, if using length of days as a guide, be centred on the solstice, depending on the situation. You are here: Home Discover Explore by theme Summer solstice. Summer solstice.

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    When was the summer solstice ? What is a solstice? Our Earth rotates on its axis once each day, producing the cycle of day and night. These key points in the year, along with the equinoxes, help to determine the seasons on Earth. The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

    The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, and its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice. Hence the origin of the word solstice, which comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, "sun" and -stitium, "a stoppage. See also:. Understanding the Summer Solstice.

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