|Jeannine Jones (almanac.com)|
What is it?
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.
- Editor of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Janice Stillman dives into the Almanac’s archives to explore the importance of the solstice as a seasonal celebration in cultures across the world and throughout history. Go to Slooh.com to watch the live broadcast, snap, and share photos during the event, chat with audience members, interact with the hosts, and personally control Slooh’s telescopes. See also Bob Berman’s Solstice Full Moon here.
Why doesn’t Summer Solstice fall on same date?
To compensate for the missing fraction of days, the Gregorian calendar adds a leap day about every 4 years, which makes the date for summer jump backward. However, the date also changes because of other influences, such as the gravitational pull from the Moon and planets and the slight wobble in Earth’s rotation.
Did You Know?
Water is slower to heat (or cool) than air or land. At the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives the most energy (highest intensity) from the Sun due to the angle of sunlight and day length.
However, the land and oceans are still relatively cool, due to spring’s temperatures, so the maximum heating effect on air temperature is not felt just yet. Eventually, the land and, especially, oceans will release stored heat from the summer solstice back into the atmosphere.
This usually results in the year’s hottest temperatures appearing in late July, August, or later, depending on latitude and other factors. This effect is called seasonal temperature lag.
Seasons on Other Planets
- Mercury has virtually no tilt (less than ⅓0th of a degree) relative to the plane of its orbit, and therefore does not experience true seasons.
- Uranus is tilted by almost 98 degrees and has seasons that last 21 years.
Watch it LIVE
Join The Old Farmer’s Almanac and Slooh -- from Slooh’s flagship observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics in the Canary Islands -- to witness the rare event as the Full Moon rises on the same day as the Summer Solstice, an event which hasn’t occurred for nearly 70 years.
“Having a full moon land smack on the solstice is a truly rare event,” says Berman.
“We probably won’t push people off pyramids like the Mayans [allegedly] did, but Slooh will very much celebrate this extraordinary day of light with fascinating factoids and amazing live telescope feeds.” The Summer Solstice Full Moon show is on Monday, June 20! More