On the day of the summer solstice the Earth is showing its north pole to the Sun and hiding its south pole. The Sun climbs to its highest point in the sky in the northern hemisphere, and its lowest in the southern hemisphere.
The summer solstice, the longest day in the northern hemisphere
Thus in the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice is on the longest day of the year ( 21 or 22 June), and on the shortest for the southern hemisphere (21 or 22 December, the seasons being inverted). It is the opposite for the winter solstice.
On solstice days, the Sun passes vertically over one of the two tropics. At Stonehenge, the megalithic site in southern England, the heel stone is a rough stone standing outside the circle. At the summer solstice, when standing inside the circle facing north-east towards the entrance, the Sun can be seen to rise above the heel stone - the chance to take some beautiful photos. In Paris it is sometimes possible to take beautiful photos of astronomical events as the Sun sets in line with theArc de Triomphe. In the northern tropic, the tropic of Cancer, the Sun even reaches the zenith.
- See our wallpapers on the theme ofsummer, for a sunny PC!
- To celebrate the arrival of summer, send our summer e-cards to your friends.
The equator is the division between the two hemispheres of the Earth. On the day of the summer solstice the north pole is leaning towards the Sun. © DR