Summer solstice is Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at exactly 5:14 am (EDT). It’s the the day the Northern Hemisphere has the most daylight and shortest amount of night. You might know it by the common reference: “It’s finally summer, y’all!” And it is; summer solstice is the offical start of summer. We refer to it as the longest day of the year because it has the most hours of light. It has the most light because the Sun is travelling along its northernmost path in the sky, which also makes it also the astronomical start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
Fun Facts About Summer Solstice:
- Summer solstice marks the start of summer in the northern hemisphere and the start of winter for the southern hemisphere. If we have the Sun at the highest point, the southern hemisphere has it at the lowest (creating the least amount of sun).
- Because the Sun is at the highest point in the sky, our shadows are shorter on summer solstice.
- Earth arrives at its orbital point where the North Pole is at maximum tilt (about 23.5 degrees) toward the Sun. We receive sunlight at the most direct angle of the year.
- “Solstice” hails from the Latin word solstitium. “Sol” means “Sun,” and “stitium” means “still or stopped.” Once the Sun is at its the highest point in the sky, it remains there for a brief amount of time. Summer solstice is a literal, albeit brief, Sun stop.
- The dates shift between June 20, 21, and 22, based on the Sun’s most northern point from the Equator. Summer solstice falls on June 21 in 2023, but it is June 20 in 2024 and 2025.
- June’s full moon is known as the Strawberry Moon; folklore indicates because it’s the perfect time to pick strawberries in the U.S.
- The Sun sets more slowly around the solstice because of its angle in the sky. Try this sunrise and sunset calculator to find your area’s longer sunsets and hours of daylight.
- It’s the first day of summer, y’all!