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Summer solstice: Wikis

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The Summer Solstice occurs exactly when the earth's axial tilt is closest to the sun at its maximum of 23° 26'. Though the Summer Solstice lasts an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like Midsummer to refer to the day on which it occurs. For most people in the high latitudes this is commonly known as the longest day and the sun's daily maximum position in the sky is the highest. The seasonal significance of the Summer Solstice is in the reversal of the gradual shortening of nights and lengthening of days. However, for people in low latitudes located between the Tropic of Cancer (23°26'N) and the Tropic of Capricorn (23°26'S), the Summer Solstice is not the longest day or highest sun position, since the sun reaches the zenith here and it does so at different times of the year depending on the latitude of the observer.[1] Depending on the shift of the calendar, the Summer Solstice occurs some time between December 21 and December 22 each year in the Southern Hemisphere, and between June 20 and June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere.[2]

Diagram of the Earth's seasons as seen from the north. Far right: December solstice

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of sign of the fertility, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time.[3]

The word solstice derives from Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

References

  1. ^ An Introduction to Physical Science, 12th Ed., James Shipman, Jerry D. Wilson, Aaron Todd, Section 15.5, p 423, ISBN-13: 978-0618926961, 2007.
  2. ^ solstice. (2009). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved May 13, 2009, from Encyclopedia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/553654/solstice
  3. ^ ReligiousTolerance.org

Simple English

The summer solstice occurs at the instant when the Sun's place in the sky is at its smallest angular distance on the side of the equatorial plane from the watcher.

The word solstice comes from Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to not move), summer solstice meaning Sun stand still in summer.


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