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Are you familiar about summer solstice? People living in the northern hemisphere will experience the longest day of the year also known as summer solstice on June 21, 2018. The sun rises directly 23.5° of north latitude. It marks the start of summer. This season is for everyone regardless of the age.  

This is an interesting phenomenon and it’s important to know some facts about the summer solstice.

Why does summer solstice happen?

For those who don’t have an idea about the summer solstice, it happens if the Earth rotates around the sun on the north latitude. The northern hemisphere is more exposed to direct sunlight from March to September. Thus, during these months people living in the northern hemisphere will experience a long hour of daytime.

How many hours will the sun shine on summer solstice?

More sunlight is expected if you’re living in the north. According to Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist, people living near the Arctic Circle will notice that the sun remains shining for 24 hours during the solstice.

In addition, the longest twilight of the year can also be experienced during the solstice. The twilight is noticeable between 1 to 1.5 extra hours after the sun sets.

Does the solstice mark the earliest sunrise of the year worldwide?

The earliest sunrise can only be true for the northern hemisphere, but not throughout the world. Thus, if you’re living in Washington, DC, the earliest sunrise is a day after the solstice and that means June 22.  Solstice is the most favorable time for those who love summer season.

Why is solstice significant to Stonehenge?

The prehistoric structure of Stonehenge is closely associated with solstices and equinoxes. It’s because the sun rises on top of the Heel Stone structure and over the center of the Altar Stone. Even this modern day, a crowd of people still gather in Stonehenge not only to welcome the summer solstice but also to celebrate various rituals.

Is summer solstice the longest day in the entire history of the Earth?

The moon and the liquid oceans affect the rotation of the earth as it revolves slower over time caused by tidal friction. If this happens over a very long time, longer days will be experienced. The Earth completed one rotation in just six hours 4.5 billion years ago. As time passed by, the rotation gets longer.

However, there are other factors that affect the rotation of the Earth aside from tidal friction. 12,000 years ago the glacial ice starts to melt caused by global warming and this speed up the rotation of the Earth.  Geologic activities happening in the core of the planet also affect the Earth’s rotation.

NASA aims to study the sun’s surface and this can be possible once they launch the spacecraft named Parker Probe Plus. The spacecraft will be 4 million miles near to the surface of the sun. It’s important to have deep knowledge about the sun and the Earth in order to understand clearly why solstice happens.

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