Summer solstice 2023: When is it and what causes the year’s longest day?Here's when the summer solstice takes place this year, what it represents, and why Stonehenge is so important.
When is the summer solstice in 2023?
The summer solstice in 2023 will take place on Wednesday 21 June at precisely 3:58pm BST in the UK and 10:58am ET / 7:58am PT in the US. Contrary to popular belief, the solstice is an exact moment and not the entire day. The event takes place on the first day of the astronomical summer season and marks the exact point the northern hemisphere is pointing directly towards the Sun. It also marks the longest day of the year, with the highest number of daylight hours seen in a single day in 2023.
When is sunrise for the summer solstice?
On Wednesday 21 June, the day of the summer solstice, sunrise will be at 4:43am in London (BST). Times will vary slightly in the UK, with Edinburgh's sunrise at 4:26am (BST). In the US, the sunrise will depend on your location. New York City summer solstice sunrise time: 5:25am (EDT) Austin, Texas summer solstice sunrise time: 06:29 (CDT) Los Angeles, California solstice sunrise time: 05:42 (PDT)
Counterintuitively, even though 21 June is the longest day of the year, it's not the day with the earliest sunrise. "The earliest sunrise actually occurs 4 days earlier, and the latest sunset occurs 3 days later," Dr Darren Baskill, an astrophotographer and astronomy lecturer at the University of Sussex, says. "This slight difference is caused by the Earth orbiting the Sun not in a circle, but in a slight ellipse."
What is the summer solstice?
The summer solstice takes place at the exact moment the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky, which is when the northern hemisphere is tilted most towards the Sun. Essentially, it marks the point when the Sun’s rays hit this part of the Earth most directly. "The summer solstice occurs for the northern hemisphere when the Earth moves into such a position that its North Pole is pointing in the direction of the Sun, making the Sun high in the sky," says Baskill. "At the same time, the South Pole of the Earth is pointing away from the Sun, and so the southern hemisphere have their winter solstice on the same day." The Earth’s axis has a tilt of around 24°, relative to its orbit around the Sun.
The summer solstice is not necessarily the hottest day of the year. Usually, the hottest day of the year is in July or August. This is because oceans and land masses release the heat absorbed from the longer days back into the atmosphere.
Why is the Earth tilted?
We get a summer solstice because the Earth's North Pole is tilted at around 24° from the vertical, compared with its orbit around the Sun. For the same reason, the Arctic Circle gets the Midnight Sun: on the summer solstice, and for longer further north, the Sun is visible above the horizon all night long.
But where does the Earth get its tilt?
please refer to original article - link below
The summer solstice is marked around the world by different groups and cultures, but the most famous event arguably takes place at Stonehenge in the UK.
While many mysteries remain about the ancient stone circle, we do know that the monument is structured to mark the position of the rising sun at the solstices (whether that was its original intention or not). As such, 21 June 2023 marks the only day the site has free (managed) open access for tourists and those looking to take in the special and sacred event.
Other summer solstice events around the world include Midsummer, which is an important date in Sweden and the other Scandinavian nations.
What’s the difference between an equinox and a solstice?
Do any other planets have solstices?
Yep, other planets do indeed have solstices. Just the same as on Earth, when any planet’s northern pole reaches its maximum tilt towards the Sun, the summer solstice happens and its winter solstice takes place when the southern pole does the same.
Words, and picture, above plus more to read at original article here
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