Summer Solstice Facts

Summer Solstice Facts
Summer solstice occurs when the earth's semi-axis inclines more toward the sun. This occurs twice with our planet each year. When the southern hemisphere is tilted more towards the sun, which begins between December 20th and December 23rd each year, the southern hemisphere's summer season begins. When the northern hemisphere is tilted more towards the sun, which begins between June 20th and June 22nd, the northern hemisphere's summer season begins. The maximum axial tilt of the earth is reached at the time that each of the northern and the southern summer solstices occur. In contrast, when one hemisphere's summer solstice occurs, the other hemisphere's winter solstice is occurring.
Interesting Summer Solstice Facts:
The word solstice derives from Latin, meaning 'sun stands still'. This word was chosen because when the solstice occurs the sun appears to stand still.
When summer solstice occurs in the northern hemisphere, it experiences its longest day and shortest night of the year. The opposite is true when the winter solstice occurs, when the northern hemisphere experiences its longest night and shortest day.
When summer solstice occurs in the southern hemisphere, it experiences its longest day and shortest night of the year. The opposite is true when the winter solstice occurs, when the southern hemisphere experiences its longest night and shortest day.
For many days before and after a solstice the sun seems to stand still in the sky.
Some people confuse the solstice with an equinox however an equinox occurs when day of night are of equal length and the sun is directly above the equator, which occurs twice each year and marks the beginning of spring and fall.
When the summer solstice occurs in the northern hemisphere, thousands of people flock to Stonehenge, an ancient stone site in Wiltshire, England. There they watch the sun rise, where it creates an illusion that the sun is balancing one of the main stones.
In Christianity, the summer solstice marks the festival of St. John the Baptist.
In the Pagan community, summer solstice is cause to celebrate with feasts and bonfires. They refer to summer solstice as the holiday 'Midsummer'.
Although summer solstice marks the beginning of summer, it is not the hottest time of the year. The hottest temperatures usually occur in late July, in the northern hemisphere, and in January in the southern hemisphere.
The Bighorn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming has stones that show the direction of the summer solstice's rising and setting sun.
Because of the differences between the astronomical year, which is only 265.25 days long, and the human calendar year, which is 365 days long, the exact date of the summer solstice dates can change each year.
The northern hemisphere receives approximately 7% less sunlight during its summer than the southern hemisphere receives during its summer.
Earth is not the only planet to have a summer solstice. Mars' solstice occurs a few days after earth's June solstice.
On Uranus, each summer solstice lasts for 42 years. This also means that each winter solstice lasts the same amount of time for the opposite hemisphere.
Venus and Jupiter barely experience solstice due to the position of their poles.

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