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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Welcome Summer Solstice 2013!

Google's Doodle for Summer Solstice 2013 (click on image below to link to the video):

Solstice is derived from the Latin words Sol (Sun) and Sistere (to stand still).

The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of a planet's semi-axis, in either the northern or the southern hemisphere, is most inclined toward the star (Sun for Earth) that it orbits. Earth's maximum axial tilt toward the sun is 23° 26'. This happens twice each year, at which times the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole.

The summer solstice occurs during a hemisphere's summer. This is northern solstice in the northern hemisphere and the southern solstice in the southern hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs some time between December 20 and December 23 each year in the southern hemisphere and between June 20 and June 22 in the northern hemisphere in reference to UTC.

Though the summer solstice is an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like midsummer to refer to the day on which it occurs. The summer solstice occurs on the day that has the longest period of daylight – except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice. Summer Solstice is celebrated and welcomed all over the world, specifically by paganism, but most recognize the event in some way with holidays, festivals, and rituals around that time with themes of religion or fertility.

Below is a helpful table of solstices and equinoxes (equal day and night) for astronomy maniacs, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Click above for an expanded view
UT date and time of
equinoxes and solstices on Earth
event Northward
equinox
Northern
solstice
Southward
equinox
Southern
solstice
month March June September December
year
day time day time day time day time
2010 20 17:32 21 11:28 23 03:09 21 23:38
2011 20 23:21 21 17:16 23 09:04 22 05:30
2012 20 05:14 20 23:09 22 14:49 21 11:12
2013 20 11:02 21 05:04 22 20:44 21 17:11
2014 20 16:57 21 10:51 23 02:29 21 23:03
2015 20 22:45 21 16:38 23 08:20 22 04:48
2016 20 04:30 20 22:34 22 14:21 21 10:44
2017 20 10:28 21 04:24 22 20:02 21 16:28
2018 20 16:15 21 10:07 23 01:54 21 22:23
2019 20 21:58 21 15:54 23 07:50 22 04:19
2020 20 03:50 20 21:44 22 13:31 21 10:02

It's time to welcome summer solstice in our own literary manner, by watching the comedy play of William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream spoofed by the inimitable quartet kings of pop-rock music, Beatles (click on the cartoon below):

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