The summer solstice, otherwise known as the longest day of the year, is on the June 21, marking the return of brighter evenings and hopefully more time to spend out with my camera!
The UK will enjoy 16 hours and 38 minutes
of daylight. The sun will rise at 4.52am and set at 9.26pm.
The solstice officially marks the beginning of the astronomical summer, which ends when the autumn equinox falls on September 22. Day and night will be at almost equal length on this day, as the sun crosses the celestial equator and moves southward into the northern hemisphere.
What happens during the summer solstice?
There are two solstices each year – one in the winter and one in the summer. The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of Earth’s axis is most inclined towards the sun and is directly above the Tropic of Cancer.
Traditionally, the summer solstice period fell between the planting and harvesting of crops, leaving people who worked the land time to relax. This is why June became the traditional month for weddings.
It signals the moment the sun’s path stops moving northward in the sky, and the start of days becoming steadily shorter as the slow march towards winter begins.
However, we won’t notice the days becoming shorter for a while. The shortest day of the year isn’t until Monday, December 21, known as the winter solstice; it lasts for 7 hours and 50 minutes in Britain, which is 8 hours, 48 minutes shorter than the June solstice.
So there you have the Summer Solstice in a nut shell – if my sleep pattern is still the same in a few days I will be up to see the sun rise!