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When and What Is the Summer Solstice?

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. Solstices are opposite on either side of the equator, so the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, and vice versa.

Earth's position in relation to the Sun's rays at the June solstice.

Earth's position in space at June solstice.

Earth's position in relation to the Sun's rays at the June solstice. (ill:Not to scale)

Northern Hemisphere Summer Solstice

(North America, Central America, Europe, Asia, Northern Africa)

June Solstice in Boston, Massachusetts, USA is on
Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 5:43 pm EDT (Change city)

June Solstice in Universal Coordinated Time is on
Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 21:43 UTC

Southern Hemisphere Summer Solstice

(Australia, New Zealand, South America, Southern Africa)

December Solstice in Boston, Massachusetts, USA is on
Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 11:19 pm EST (Change city)

December Solstice in Universal Coordinated Time is on
Sunday, December 22, 2019 at 04:19 UTC

Is It the First Day of Summer?

Illustration image
Sunrise at Stonehenge at Summer Solstice.
Some believe that Stonehenge (2500 BCE) in England was built to mark the June solstice.
©iStockphoto.com/AndyRoland

'Solstice' (Latin: 'solstitium') means 'sun-stopping', because the point where the sun appears to rise and set, stops and reverses direction after this day

The first day of spring, summer, fall and winter can either be defined using astronomical events like solstices and equinoxes, or they can be determined based on meteorological factors, such as average temperatures.

Over the centuries, the June solstice has inspired countless festivals, midsummer celebrations and religious holidays.

One of the world's oldest evidence of the summer solstice's importance in culture is Stonehenge in England, a megalithic structure which clearly marks the moment of the June solstice.

Topics: Astronomy, Seasons, December, June, Sun, Solstice

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