June Solstice

The North Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, which will have reached its northernmost position in the sky and will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, this solstice will mark the beginning of summer and the longest day of the year with early dawns, long days, late sunsets, and short nights. The sun will be at its height each day, as it crosses the sky. Meanwhile, south of the equator, winter will begin.

What is a solstice?
The solstice is an astronomical event caused by the Earth’s tilt on its axis and its motion in orbit around the sun.  It’s because Earth doesn’t orbit upright. Instead, our world is tilted on its axis by 23 1/2 degrees. Earth’s Northern and Southern Hemispheres trade places in receiving the sun’s light and warmth most directly. At the June solstice, Earth is positioned in its orbit so that our world’s North Pole is leaning most toward the sun, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the calendar year. The word “solstice” comes from Latin solstitium—from sol (Sun) and stitium (still or stopped). Due to Earth’s tilted axis, the Sun doesn’t rise and set at the same locations on the horizon each morning and evening; its rise and set positions move northward or southward in the sky as Earth travels around the Sun through the year.

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