Summer Solstice 2019: 5 Things To Know

It is time to bid farewell to the spring in northern hemisphere and welcome the summers. For people living in southern hemisphere, replace spring by fall and summers by winters. The summer solstice is on June 21 at 15:54 GMT (21:24 IST). Here are 5 things to know.

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1. What Is Solstice?

A solstice marks that day of the year when the Sun shines directly over the Tropic of Cancer (summer solstice) or the Tropic of Capricorn (winter solstice). The term ‘solstice’ is derived from two Latin words “sol” which means sun, and “sistere”, meaning standstill. The Sun seems to stand still in the summer sky, marking the shortest night and longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. In southern hemisphere, it is opposite.

Summer Solstice
Illustration of the Solstice and Equinox.

2. The Sun's Position

This is the day of the year when the Sun's annual path through the constellations of the zodiac reaches its northern-most point in the sky, in the constellation of Cancer at a declination of 23.5°N. From hereon, the Sun's apparent position will move towards south.

Also Read: Basics of Astrophysics Series

3. Solstice And Seasons

The June Solstice marks the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere and the first day of winters in the southern. The days will start getting shorter than the nights from this day and the duration of the two will become equal on the fall equinox in September.

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4. The Length Of Day

The length of the day will be around 12 hours, 53 minutes and 23 seconds in India (Bangalore). Find the length of the day at your place here.

5. Summer Solstice And International Yoga Day

Summer Solstice and Yoga Day
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi with the participants during the mass yoga demonstration at the Capitol Complex, Chandigarh, on the occasion of the 2nd International Day of Yoga – 2016, on June 21, 2016.

The June Solstice coincides with the International Yoga Day on June 21. In his UN Address, while proposing the idea of International Yoga Day, the current Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, suggested the date of 21 June, as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many parts of the world.

Summer Solstice In Nature

The sunset has been making its way north, as illustrated in this 2016 photo composite by Abhijit Juvekar.

There is no well defined transitions of seasons in the nature. So you may ask where to look for the Summer Solstice in nature. The answer is everywhere. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you might notice the early dawns and late sunsets, and the high arc of the sun across the sky each day. You might see how high the sun appears in the sky at local noon. And be sure to look at your noontime shadow. Around the time of the solstice, it’s your shortest noontime shadow of the year.

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