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What is Summer Solstice? - 06/20/14

Walt Maciborski asked me to describe the summer solstice to him in a little more depth tonight during the 10 PM newscast...but since I didn't have the time, I thought it would give me the perfect excuse to write about it to inform you as well.

So, what exactly is the summer solstice? This is something that happens astronomically with our planet. Earth sits on 23.5 degree axis which is the reason we have seasons (i.e., summer, winter, fall, spring). As Earth pivots around the sun, different parts of the planet warm and cool at different rates depending on how much sun it sees. (Graphic on the right)

Tomorrow at 5:51 AM the sun will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer which begins our summer season for the northern hemisphere. After 5:51 AM tomorrow, the sun will slowly lower on the horizon until it becomes its lowest point during the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21st.

This also gives us some of the longest daylight hours for the northern hemisphere while the shortest daytime hours are occurring in the southern hemisphere.

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