This year’s summer solstice is getting closer and closer. This day, long awaited by all lovers of heat and good weather, is the one that marks the astronomical transition to the summer season . Do you know why the solstice occurs and when it will be exactly?
If you want to learn more about the summer solstice and some of its curiosities, keep reading us in this AgroCorrn article about the 2021 summer solstice in the northern and southern hemispheres .
What is the summer solstice
The word solstice comes from Latin, and means “still Sun” , since for several days the maximum height of the Sun seems to remain stable. What is this phenomenon due to?
The Earth is constantly in a double movement of translation, in an orbit around the Sun, and of rotation, turning on itself. Thanks to the rotational movement, which takes 24 hours to complete, we have days and nights, since only half of the planet is receiving the solar influx at any one time. Translation, on the other hand, is responsible for the existence of the seasons on our planet. More than translation, in fact, it is the combination of translational motion with the fact that the Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted.
This inclination is approximately 23 °, which causes the Earth Ecuador is not perpendicular to the sun . This, although it might not seem important, causes the solar rays to affect each hemisphere more during the middle of the solar orbit, that is, the seasons appear . In this other post you can learn more about why there are seasons of the year .
Thus, contrary to what many believe, the fact that it is summer or winter does not depend on our distance from the Sun, which is actually greater during the summer in the northern hemisphere, but on the inclination of the Earth’s equator with respect to our great star. .
Thus, the summer solstice marks the day when the Sun’s incidence is greatest on one of the hemispheres, thus also marking the longest day and the shortest night of the year. You might think that, being the day when a hemisphere receives the most solar influx, it is also the hottest, however, this is a mistake. The Earth absorbs this solar radiation in different ways depending on whether it is terrestrial or aquatic surface, which absorb the temperature at different rates and take time to release it. As when the solstice arrives, the land and oceans are still relatively cool, the highest temperatures do not arrive until several weeks later, in a time that depends on the specific characteristics of each territory and climate.
Why is the summer solstice celebrated?
The arrival of summer has always been, historically, a moment of celebration welcomed with joy by all kinds of cultures. Just as winter has always marked the arrival of cold and scarcity, summer is a time of well-being and abundance in the countryside .
- Formerly, the Egyptians considered this day the beginning of the new year , which roughly coincides with the rising of the star Sirius and the arrival of the floods to the Nile. In fact, the great pyramids are built in such a way that, if we stand at the sphinx , the Sun is located exactly between two of the pyramids on the day of the solstice.
- The Incas celebrated their summer solstice with the Inti Raymi , a ceremony with offerings and sacrifices.
- In the United Kingdom is Stonehenge , one of the most famous ancient constructions associated with the solstices, since, at dawn of the summer solstice, the Sun rises over Heel Stone.
- Currently there are still many celebrations around this day, such as the bonfires of San Juan in Spain , the Ansara festival in North Africa, the rite of virility in Sweden or the celebrations of Chichén Itzá, in Yucatán. In China the forces of yang take center stage and in Reikiavic, Iceland, one of the most important electronic music festivals is held, the Secret Solstice Festival.
When is summer solstice 2021
The summer solstice occurs when the Sun reaches a maximum inclination with respect to the equator, forming an angle of + 23º27 ‘for the northern hemisphere, or -23º27’ for the southern hemisphere.
When is summer solstice 2021 in the northern hemisphere
In this year 2021, the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere will take place on June 21 at 03:32 UTC.
When is summer solstice 2021 in the southern hemisphere
In the southern hemisphere, on the other hand, the summer solstice will occur on December 21 at 15:59 UTC.
Difference between solstice and equinox
If the solstices correspond to the longest day and night of each year, the equinoxes are just the opposite. These are the points in the elliptical orbit around the Sun in which the sun falls more perpendicularly on the Earth’s equator, giving rise to the two moments in which day and night are of closest duration , and in which both hemispheres they receive an almost equal amount of light.
Now that you know what and when is the summer solstice of 2021 , you may want to learn more about other seasons of the year:
If you want to read more articles similar to Summer Solstice 2021: Northern and Southern Hemisphere , we recommend that you enter our category of Curiosities of the Earth and the universe .
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