Summer Solstice: Coming to a Horizon Near You

Posted by on Jun 20, 2018 in Unmowed Blog | 0 comments

What is the summer solstice? It’s the official beginning of summer. School’s out, or at least it should be. (Almost there, kids, hang on, be patient…) The garden is blooming, the lawn needs mowing, and it’s finally, finally T-shirt weather. It’s a time to celebrate warmth, and light, and life. A holiday for everyone, all welcome, no religion necessary. It’s just about the planet we all live on, tilting to and fro on its long journey around the sun.

And the solstice is also a precise moment in time. This year, the summer solstice falls on Thursday, June 21, at 6:07 a.m. Set your alarm.

Why mark this moment? It’s the tipping point between light and darkness.

Why 6:07 and not 6:08 or 6:06? Well, 6:07 is the precise instant at which you can see the sun directly over your head—if you happen to be vacationing in the Tropic of Cancer. This is an imaginary line about 23 degrees north of the equator, running through places like Egypt and Mexico.

Ironically, the summer solstice, herald of the warmth of summer, is also when the days start getting shorter. And therefore of course the nights are getting longer. A hint that winter, which seems like it only just departed, is inevitably rolling towards us again.

 

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