Summer Solstice - Longest Day

Summer solstice is also the longest day of the year. This doesn't mean our day has more than 24 hours in it - we just have more sunlight than any other day. On the summer solstice we get between 15 and 20 hours of sunlight, depending on where you're located in the world. This occasion is also called Midsummer because it is almost in the middle of the growing season throughout most of Europe. For Europeans it is the middle of summer because their crops will have already been planted.

The First Day of Summer

Summer solstice is the first day of summer - it's usually between June 20 to June 23. To be precise, the summer solstice takes place this year on June 21, at 8:57 PM EST. We know it's summer because the earth's axis tilts towards the sun from June to September - this means warmer weather and longer days. For people who live in the Southern Hemisphere, (basically the other side of the world from North America), they will have colder weather and shorter days.

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(Archive - Week of June 18, 2005)

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