6/21/2010

Happy Summer Solstice

It's the longest day of daylight in the year today for the northern hemisphere, woohoo! 
Of course, me being a little science nerd that I am, I looked up some things about the Summer Solstice and thought that I'd share. 

Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning "sun" + "to stand still." As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.

I found this interesting.  Earth is actually farther away from the sun during the summer than it is during the winter months, because our planet's orbit is elliptical, a squished circle of sorts.  Earth is tilted on its axis 23.5 degrees, so it leans one way as it spins around its axis while orbiting the sun. On June 21 this year, the North Pole is pointing toward the sun as much as is possible.
The sun will be as high in the sky as it can go at 7:28 a.m. EDT and will stay in the sky for a fraction of a second longer than the day prior or the day after.

Even though today the Sun is at it's peak, this doesn't mark summer's peak heat (although I wish because it is a scorcher outside today). The reason it's not the hottest today has to do with the slow pace of the oceans heating up and cooling down. By mid-June the oceans in the Northern Hemisphere are still cool from winter's chill, delaying the peak air temperatures by a month and a half, according to NASA.

I hope you all get to enjoy your sunlight today!!  Hopefully by 7 tonight it will cool off enough here to bear being out in the heat. 

myly

1 comments:

Emily said... Add Reply

My sister got married over the weekend of Summer Solstice. :)

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