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There through the long, long summer hours,
The golden light should lie,
And thick young herbs and groups of flowers
Stand in their beauty by.
–William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)

The timing of the June solstice—or, summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere—varies between June 20 and June 22, depending on the year and time zone.

WHEN IS THE SUMMER SOLSTICE?
In 2019, the summer solstice will occur on Friday, June 21, at 11:54 A.M. EDT.

Year Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere)
2019 Friday, June 21
2020 Saturday, June 20
2021 Sunday, June 20
2022 Tuesday, June 21

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WHAT IS THE SUMMER SOLSTICE?
In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice (aka summer solstice) occurs when the Sun reaches both its highest and northernmost points in the sky. (In contrast, the June solstice in the Southern Hemisphere is when the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky.)

The word “solstice” comes from Latin solstitium—from sol (Sun) and stitium (standing), reflecting the fact that on the solstice, the Sun appears to stop moving in the sky as it reaches its northern- or southernmost point. After the solstice, the Sun appears to reverse course and head back in the opposite direction.

The timing of the June solstice is not based on a specific calendar date or time; it all depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator. Therefore, the June solstice won’t always occur on the same day.

In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer. Because the sun is highest in the sky on this day, you’ll notice that your shadow (at noon) is the shortest it will be all year.


 

 

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