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20th Jun 2024

The Summer Solstice is here – but what makes it special this year?

Niamh Ryan

Today marks the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.

With the Summer Solstice, the sun sets late at night, giving us extra hours of daylight. The sun will set at approximately 22:07 tonight.

What causes it?

Solstice comes from the Latin word ‘solstitium’, which means ‘sun standing still.’

As the earth spins on an axis, at a certain point every year the angle of the earth’s tilt is closer to the sun than usual.

In the Southern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice occurs at the same time, as the earth is angled away from sun.

Why is this year different?

This year, the Summer Solstice falls on June 20th, making it the earliest one since 1796.

The reason the date changes each is year is due to the fact that our calendar doesn’t exactly match the time it takes for the Earth to orbit the sun.

What happens after the Solstice?

After today, we will lose 7 seconds of daylight each day. By the end of the month, a whole minute will be lost.

Although we’ll have the longest hours of sunlight, it won’t be the hottest day of the year.

In fact, temperatures usually rise over several weeks in the Northern Hemisphere after the Summer Solstice

So, we can expect some improved weather for the rest of June.