Summer Solstice 2022: What Does Solstice Mean, What Causes It, How It Happens, and Other Frequently Asked Questions.

We’ve known that June 21 marks the summer solstice — the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere — since we were in elementary school (and the shortest for the southern hemisphere). For the northern half of the Earth, this event also marks the start of summer (and, you guessed it, winter for the southern half). But what precisely is a solstice, and why does the longest day of the year occur on this date? The following are the answers to some of the most often asked questions about the summer solstice.

What exactly is a solstice?

Every day, the Sun’s position relative to the Earth moves from east to west throughout the voyage between sunrise and sunset. The Sun, on the other hand, moves from north to south over the year in a similar but less visible manner.

While the latter movement is difficult to notice on a daily basis, the difference can be seen over time by noting the Sun’s location relative to a fixed point on the Earth (like your home).

Every year, however, the Sun appears to stand still for two days as it pauses at the northern and southern poles before changing course. The solstices are a term derived from the Latin words sol (“sun”) and sisters (“days”) (“to stand still”).

These ‘pause days’ happen twice a year, once in the summer (about June 20-22, depending on your time zone) and once in the winter (around December 20-22, depending on your time zone) (by December 21-22).

What causes the Sun to go northward and southward?

The axial tilt of our planet causes the Sun to move north-south in relation to the Earth’s position. But what exactly does axial tilt imply?

The imaginary line drawn between Earth’s north and south poles isn’t quite vertical. Instead, the Earth is tilted 23.5 degrees off its imaginary vertical axis, which is referred to as the axial tilt. At different times of the year, this tilt causes the two hemispheres to be facing the Sun and its direct sunlight.

The most direct sunlight shifts between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn throughout the year as the Earth revolves around the Sun. This is what causes the seasons to shift, as the hemisphere closest to the Sun enjoys summer while the opposite hemisphere experiences winter.

What causes the summer solstice happens?

The summer solstice represents the Sun’s furthest tilt towards the north of the Earth in technical terms.

On the northern hemisphere’s summer solstice day, the Sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer. The north pole is inclined 23.4 degrees towards the Sun, causing the rays to fall exactly overhead of the Tropic of Cancer, which is nearly the same latitude as the north pole at 23°3′ N.

In other words, when the northern hemisphere’s summer solstice occurs in June, the north pole is as close to the Sun as it can get, while the south pole is as far away as it can get.

In India, this day also commemorates the start of the Sun’s southward migration, known as the Dakshinayan. The Sun will alter its position and migrate towards the south pole starting now and lasting for the following six months. The Sun will emerge exactly overhead of the Tropic of Capricorn, whose latitude is 23.5°S, in six months, marking the winter solstice.

Click here for more information.

Author: Muhammad Asim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.